After impressing in pre-season, 17-year-old Jeff Reine-Adelaide is expected to make his professional debut in the not too distant future.
Here we tell you more about the France-born starlet….
What position does he play?
In an Arsenal side renowned for being cursed with persistent injuries, versatility is often viewed as a particularly valuable commodity, and their 17-year-old prospect, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, fits those requirements perfectly. The young Frenchman enjoys playing well up top leading the line, on the wing or behind the striker, showcasing his ability to affect a game from numerous areas of the field with a dangerous eye for goal that an attacking, fast-paced side like Arsenal can certainly appreciate a great deal.
When did he first make name for himself?
Spotted by the North-London based club last season, having worked his way through French side Lens’ Academy, the young forward was picked up by Arsene Wenger when Lens were relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of last term. The French boss introduced him to the Gunners faithful as a substitute in the Emirates Cup win against Lyon and his performance impressed many of his team-mates. He followed that up with an assist for Theo Walcott in the 1-0 victory over Wolfsburg.
How far can he go?
If his first two performances are anything to go by with Arsenal, as well as the fact that Manchester United were also reportedly keen on his signing him before the Gunners succeeded, Reine-Adelaide certainly has the talent to be a star. At the moment he remains an exciting prospect for a club who have nurtured many top young talents over the years, but when Arsene Wenger himself describes you as “something special” after just two appearances, you may consider your future to be a bright one.
What’s his best attributes?
Calm, controlled and powerful on the ball, he also has tricky feet. His performances have been praised as ones of someone beyond his years and his confidence is high enough to showcase his abilities with assurance. With an assist against a top German side in Wolfsburg on his first start in an Arsenal shirt, the youngster has shown he can make a difference in the final third.
What does he need to improve?
As many have proven over recent years, a player with apparently huge potential and excellent raw skill does not always live up to the hype. Inconsistency has cost many, and this is one thing that Reine-Adelaide must concentrate on. Wenger has said that despite his promise he must continue to work hard with the first-team and play with the Under-21s in order to develop so he can one day make his mark.