Arsenal are now looking for a new U23s head coach after losing Kevin Betsy, but could use Crawley Town appointing him to send some youth players on loan to the League Two side over the summer.
The Broadfield Stadium natives announced the hiring of Betsy on Monday after just one season with the Gunners. He replaces John Yems in the Reds’ hot seat, after he stepped down by mutual consent last month. Crawley went on to finish the fourth-tier season in 12th, 16 points off the play-offs positions.
Betsy – who has signed an initial two-year contract with Crawley – has also taken Arsenal’s U18 head coach and professional development phase lead Dan Micciche with him. Micciche will be his number two at Broadfield Stadium, where US-based cryptocurrency investors WAGMI United took over in April.
WAGMI United want to see Crawley secure promotion to League One within the first two seasons of their stewardship. The takeover and appointment of Betsy could now offer Arsenal an outfit to send some of the club’s best U23s players to during the summer in search of their senior breakthroughs.
Betsy had replaced Steve Bould as Arsenal’s academy boss in 2021 after previous spells in charge of England’s youth squads. He led the Gunners’ development team to a top-three result in the Premier League 2, having taken over a side that finished the previous Division 1 campaign in just 10th-place.
Some of those Betsy relied on most in the PL2 are arguably too good for League Two such as Charlie Patino, Karl Hein, Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Tim Akinola. But there are a number of prospects in the Gunners’ academy who could use a season in the fourth-tier with a coach who knows their ability…
Arsenal U23s gem Mika Biereth could reunite with Betsy after Crawley appointment
Arsenal raided London rivals Fulham to sign Mika Biereth last summer after a prolific youth record at Craven Cottage. The Denmark U19 forward had scored 25 goals and assisted a further 15 in 37 U18 games. And he would leave a mark under Betsy, hitting 12 goals and creating give in 26 U23s games.
Biereth also earned Betsy’s praise for his quick start in Arsenal’s academy as the lone striker or in an attacking partnership. The London-born gem also caught Mikel Arteta’s eye to feature on the bench in four first-team fixtures. But the 19-year-old is still waiting for his senior debut in any competition.
“The recruitment team did a terrific job in bringing him to the club,” Betsy stated, via quotes by The Athletic, last year. “He’s a boy who has a fantastic character and attitude.
“His willingness to work for the team is excellent, his movement to get into space in behind is also very prominent in his game and he can finish. He’s a really good finisher.”
Crawley appointing Betsy as their new manager could see Arsenal seek to send Biereth to Broadfield Stadium on loan. The new Reds boss has proven he can get the 6 ft 1 prospect firing, so can help him adapt to senior football in League Two, where Crawley only scored 56 goals in 46 games this season.
Betsy appointment at Crawley may be ideal as Arsenal plan to send Omar Rekik out on loan
Betsy’s appointment as the new Crawley boss may have come at the ideal time, as TEAMtalk report Arsenal plan to send Omar Rekik out on loan over the summer. The defender has interest from clubs in Germany and the Netherlands, having impressed under the Gunners’ now-former youth manager.
Rekik played in 14 PL2 fixtures and only appeared on the losing side on three occasions. The centre-half also captained Arsenal to a 2-1 win away to Tottenham Hotspur, but he is still yet to feature in a first-team matchday side since moving to the Emirates Stadium from Hertha Berlin in January 2021.
Special Salah Oulad M’hand can reach a higher level with temporary transfer
Salah Oulad M’hand could reach an even higher level with a temporary transfer to Betsy’s Crawley this summer after a strong season at youth level. The 18-year-old delivered a string of eye-catching displays from midfield, as he struck home six goals and created a further three over 21 appearances.
The Netherlands U17 international’s performances saw Arteta hand him a seat on the bench for five Premier League games, an FA Cup tie and three EFL Cup fixtures this term, as well. But despite also receiving praise from Arsenal’s head of emerging talent, Yousuf Sajjad, his senior debut still awaits.
“You could see straight away there was something special about him,” Sajjad told football.london in December. “He had an injury hit start last season but has shown his quality in almost every game he has played this season. I don’t even believe he has reached his best yet – there is still more to come.”
Ryan Alebiosu may need League Two step down after injury-hit League One loan
Ryan Alebiosu may need to step down to League Two next season to earn regular first-team minutes after an injury-hit spell in League One this term. The 20-year-old joined Crewe Alexandra on loan this January, but only played six games in the third-tier between two months out due to back problems.
The right-back started in all six of his appearances, but Alebiosu only managed 373 minutes in total. He additionally failed to provide any goals or assists, in what was his first taste of senior football.
Arsenal could use Betsy appointment to send Mazeed Ogungbo to Crawley on loan
Another youth player who Arsenal could now send to Crawley on loan after Betsey’s appointment is Mazeed Ogungbo. The 19-year-old cemented his presence at U23s level under the Gunners’ former coach with 25 of his 30 outings in the north Londoners’ development side since his debut in 2019.
Betsy additionally gave Ogungbo the captaincy in a 1-1 PL2 draw with Brighton, and started the U20 Republic of Ireland international in all 25 of his appearances. But despite featuring on Arteta’s bench in two Premier League matches in April, Ogungbo remains waiting for his first career senior minutes.