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Zech Medley phase two should be even better than phase one

Arsenal returned to training after the pause and Mikel Arteta called some of the kids up too—including Zech Medley, whose phase two is pretty exciting.

Mikel Arteta is one of the best guys to have in charge when it comes to developing the youth options here at Arsenal, and he’s given us another reason to be excited about that. On the Gunners’ return to training, he called some of the kids up to train with the first team, including the hulking centerback Zech Medley.

At 6’4″, Medley casts an imposing figure, but he’s also so versatile that he can play leftback and even on the wings, where he scored two goals earlier in the year.

Of course, Medley shouldn’t be an unfamiliar name. He joined the team in the 2018-19 season and made three Cup appearances, though his Premier League debut is still in the making.

Arsenal primed for Phase 2 of Zech Medley

His inclusion in first-team training would seem to hint that he is the next young defender to make an impact with the senior side, so long as he impresses.

Having just added Pablo Mari, Medley may have felt himself blocked, as being left-footed was a big claim to fame. With Mari sharing that, he now has competition, but that may not be a bad thing, especially if the Gunners still plan to shuffle their leftback situation.

The thing that’s the most exciting about Medley, phase two, however, is simply that he is joining up at a time when the Gunners’ defense is at the top of their game. No Premier League defense has done better in 2020, and it’s all been inspired by Mikel Arteta and his fresh take on defenders who aren’t exactly known for, well, defending. At least not well.

Arteta’s defensive philosophy at Arsenal has been an inspired one, and it’s been a huge lift to see what comes next, namely with William Saliba and Calum Chambers.

But adding Medley’s name to that mix is not a bad idea. He’s 19-years-old, he’s been a mainstay with the U23s, and if his chance comes to operate within a system that can make even Shkodran Mustafi look good, then success for both Medley and the future of the Gunners’ defense may be even more exciting than it already was.

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There isn’t a lot of time to get Medley some game time, and with how much is on the line, it might not happen this year. But the fact that he’s training with the first team at all is a sign of what’s to come. Hopefully.

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