One of 15 youngsters released by Arsenal bags perfect hat-trick this weekend

Philip Roberts is causing a storm at Falkirk since his release by Arsenal this summer.

Martin Angha, Craig Eastmond, Jordan Wynter, Elton Monteiro, Kyle Ebecilio, Sanchez Watt, Samir Bihmoutine, Conor Henderson, Nigel Neita, Josh Rees, James Shea, Reice Charles-Cook, Jernade Meade, Sead Hajrovic and last, but not least, Philip Roberts. 15 young professional footballers all under the age of 23, all 15 of them allowed to leave Arsenal this summer - for nothing.

These are 15 players who make up the infamous 29 players who have so far left Arsenal in some capacity this summer - with more set to come.

For some, a career back in their homeland beckons; for some a lower league career is their calling; for some, they fall off the radar completely.

For one, last weekend was a very good weekend indeed.

Philip Roberts spent last season out on loan with Inverness Caledonian Thistle of the SPL. Then 18-years-old, the boy from Newham struggled to adapt, but still showed signs of his quality in a 23 game loan spell.

But he only contributed with one goal, so when Falkirk decided to gamble on the player it was a strange decision - a strange decision proving fruitful.

Playing in the newly formed Scottish Championship, The Bairns are hoping for a return to SPL football next season. Former Norwich City midfielder Gary Holt is their manager and they genuinely believe this season could see them return to the big-time.

So far, Roberts’ form is a real fillip for those ambitions.

This weekend saw Roberts score a perfect hat-trick to take his tally this season to four goals in three games, and the fans at Falkirk Stadium have already fallen in love with the Republic of Ireland youth international.

Of course he is not the first discarded Arsenal striker to perform well at Falkirk; Anthony Stokes’ 14 goals in 16 games back in 2006-07 earned him a move to Sunderland.

For Roberts he will hope his career takes a similar trajectory.

Talented yes, but never a world-beater, this season has surely surpassed his modest hopes - and if he finds himself playing Champions League football and a full Irish international in three years’ time like Stokes did - well he won’t look back on his Arsenal release with too much anger now would he?

Here is his third goal against Livingston this weekend…

image: © lodekka

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