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Araujo and Olakigbe earn England U18s call ups

Fulham pair Harvey Araujo and Michael Olakigbe have been named in the England under 18 squad for the forthcoming Pinatar tournament in Spain.

Defender Araujo made his under 18 international debut as a substitute against Norway in October before making a first start at this level against Russia four days later. Winger Michael Olakigbe was also handed his first appearances for the England under 18s during that same camp by new coach Ryan Garry – scoring and adding an assist in the 3-0 win over the Russians.

Garry has named a 24-man squad for the friendly tournament which sees England take on Holland on 11 November, Belgium on 13 November and Portugal on 15 November.

Fulham and Chelsea share spoils after eight-goal thriller

Fulham and Chelsea had to be content with a share of the spoils after a see-saw under-18 west London derby finished 4-4 at Motspur Park this afternoon. Luke Harris’ second half brace looked to have pinched the points for Ali Melloul’s youngsters but the home side were denied by the second of a pair of strikes from Jude Soonsup-Bell with six minutes left. The Blues also missed a second half penalty in a crazy game that cantered from end to end.

A scrappy start gave way to disaster six minutes in when Harvey Araujo slipped on the edge of his own penalty area, allowing Edwin Andersson to nip in and slip a simple finish under the stranded Alex Borto. The hosts almost offered an immediate reply with Prince Adegoke pushing Imani Lanquedoc’s rising drive over the bar after Araujo had conjured up a brilliant pass to find the midfielder. The young Whites drew level on eleven minutes when some patient build-up play culminated in Araujo delivering a lovely low cross for Jaylan Wildbore to find the corner.

That sparked a prolonged spell of Fulham pressure. Araujo almost made further amends with a header from Matt Dibley-Dias’ corner before Wildbore whacked a drive straight at Adegoke in the Chelsea goal. Dibley-Dias then drifted a delicious curler agonisingly wide, but Araujo grabbed the second goal with a fine header after the visitors had struggled to clear Delano McCoy-Splatt’s corner.

Chelsea came roaring back. Borto just about kept out Louis Flowers’ measured finish and then produced an even better save when Flowers turned provider, somehow denying Andersson with the goal gaping at close range. But the Blues were level two minutes later when Soonsup-Bell glanced a great header home from Lewis Hall’s devilish delivery. Ed Brand’s side stormed into the lead within three minutes when Soonsup-Bell surged down the right flank and sent in a cross-cum-shot that Borto batted away, but Andersson was on hand to power home from close range.

Fulham appeared shellshocked by the sudden turnaround but went on the front foot after composing themselves during the half-time break. Olly Sanderson might have brought them level in the early stages of the second period but the striker blazed over at the back post after a patient move unlocked the Chelsea defence. The lively Luke Harris went close with a low drive from distance and it was the prodigiously-talented Welsh teenager who levelled matters with a moment of magic ten minutes into the second half.

Harris, who has featured for Steve Wigley’s under 23 side already this season, gave another reminder of his unerring eye for goal when he curled a majestic right-footed finish into the far corner from 20 yards as Chelsea foolishly stood off him. The gripping contest appeared to have tilted towards the visitors again midway through the second period when Soonsup-Bell was brought down by Araujo in the area. The striker and Lewis Hall squabbled over who should take the spot-kick with the latter prevailing, only for Borto to pull off a brilliant diving save.

Substitute Michael Olakigbe then won Fulham a penalty at the other end and Harris blasted it straight down the centre of the goal to put the hosts ahead. But the young Whites couldn’t hold on to claim all three points as Luke Badley-Morgan’s cross was superbly controlled by Soonsup-Bell who turned to thump a terrific finish in off the crossbar. The only surprise was that the frantic finale didn’t produce a winner – but perhaps it was fitting that this pulsating contest ended all square.

FULHAM UNDER 18s (4-4-2): Borto; Tanton, de Fougerolles, C. Robinson, Araujo; McCoy-Splatt, Dibley-Dias (Okkas 90), Lanquedoc, Harris; Sanderson, Wildbore (Olakigbe 65). Subs (not used): McNally, Works, Caton.

BOOKED: Tanton, de Fougerolles.

GOALS: Wildbore (11), Araujo (23), Harris (55, pen 76).

CHELSEA UNDER 18s (4-1-3-2): Adegoke; Olise (Abu 88), Tobin, Hughes, Silcott-Duberry (Badley-Morgan 71); Hall; Webster, Andersson, Thomas (Mendel-Idowu 78); Flower, Soonsup-Bell. Subs (not used): Merrick, Tiemcani.

BOOKED: Webster.

GOALS: Andersson (6, 33), Soonsup-Bell (30, 85).

Olakigbe opens account for England under 18s

Fulham winger Michael Olakigbe scored his first goal for England’s under 18s as Ryan Garry’s side rounded off a successful tour of Spain with a 3-0 over Russia in Marbella this afternoon.

Olakigbe added England’s second goal after Sonny Perkins had put the young Lions ahead midway through the first half. The teenager winger worked hard ten minutes later to close down a Russian defender and strip him of possession before holding off another tackler and slotting an assured finish past Daniil Khudiakov.

Olakigbe turned provider in the second period, producing a lovely bit of skill to beat his man down the left flank and put in a precise cross for Lewis Hall to make it three. Olakigbe’s Fulham team-mate Harvey Araujo made his first start at this level, playing 58 minutes at left back.

Araujo earns first England under 18s call up

Fulham defender Harvey Araujo has won a call up to the England under 18 squad for the first time.

The left back has been named alongside Fulham team-mate Michael Olakgibe in new head coach Ryan Garry’s party for two games in Marbella against Norway and Russia. Araujo, who made fourteen appearances for Fulham’s under 18s last season as Steve Wigley’s side retained their southern division title, signed his first professional deal at Craven Cottage earlier this summer.

The teenage defender, who can also play at centre back, has made five appearances for Fulham’s under 18s this term. Olakigbe, who made his international debut at this age group as a substitute against Wales last month, has scored three goals and made two more in five club games so far this season.

Araujo signs professional deal with Fulham

Young defender Harvey Araujo has signed his first professional contract with Fulham, the club have confirmed this morning.

Araujo, who joined the Whites from Brentford aged twelve, made his debut for the club’s under 18s as a substitute in the win at Reading in February 2020. He made fourteen appearances for Steve Wigley’s side as the young Whites retained their Premier League Under 18 south title last season and has played in all three of the under 18’s fixtures so far this season.

The adventurous left back, who is also comfortable playing at the heart of the defence, has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at Craven Cottage. Araujo, who has been capped by England at under 15 and under 16 level, told Fulham’s official website:

“I’m really pleased and honoured to extend my time here at this club. Last season was a big achievement for me as I got regular football under my belt for the 18s, despite being an Under-16s player. his season, I want to aim to become one of the leading figures in this team and hopefully achieve further success. There have been plenty of ups and downs throughout my five years at the club so far and they have helped me to progress towards being the player I am today. I can happily say that this feels like home for me.”