SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29: Chuks Aneke of Arsenal FC in action during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Arsenal's squad for the Next Gen Series has been released, according to the competition's website. The squad list includes loanee Benik Afobe, who may have a deal with Bolton to play for the Youth team as well as Bolton, as well as Chuks Aneke and Thomas Eisfeld, another overaged player, and other noted prospects Chuba Akpom, Austin Lipman, Jack Jebb and Serge Gnabry. Former Barcelona trainees Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral Harper also make the team, which will be managed by reserve coach Terry Burton.
This is, of course, Arsenal's first involvement in the NextGen Series, which is basically a Champions League for under 18s. Other noted academies, such as Barcelona, Ajax, Athletic Bilbao and Liverpool are in the competition, making it a good test to see where our youngsters are.
Arsenal have been drawn in a group with Marseille, Olympiacos and Athletic Bilbao, and will play 6 fixtures, home and away against each side. All of the home fixtures will be played at the traditional reserve ground, Barnet FC's Underhill Stadium, with one of the away fixtures taking place at Olympiacos' home, the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.