He was once described by none other than Liam Brady as Arsenal’s best schoolboy but Charlie Gilmour, now aged 18, hadn’t subsequently received much publicity – until last weekend.
Arsenal U18s prevailed past their Liverpool counterparts with a 4-1 victory at London Colney but this was a rather unique win, with Gilmour achieving the unusual feat of scoring a hat-trick of penalties.
The midfielder’s treble was made all the more remarkable by the fact that he hadn’t previously scored this season, while he isn’t even the regular penalty taker for the U18s, with Eddie Nketiah, who missed the Liverpool game through injury, usually tasked with taking spot-kicks.
Gilmour’s hat-trick will undoubtedly provide the prospect with a significant injection of confidence but that wasn’t his only contribution against Liverpool as he also set up the young Gunners’ other goal, scored by schoolboy Tyreece John-Jules, with a pinpoint pass from deep.
The start to the season was extremely frustrating for Gilmour, who missed several months of action through injury, but he has slotted in well since his return to action and has been a mainstay for the U18s, regularly captaining the team.
Capped by both England and Scotland at youth level, Gilmour’s passing is undoubtedly his key attribute, although there are, inevitably, some aspects of his game that require improvement, most notably his tendency to concede possession in dangerous areas when put under significant pressure.
The youngster is striving arduously to improve and this season has adopted a more aggressive approach which has helped him to cope a little better in the heat of the midfield battle.
Already tied to a professional contract, the next objective for Gilmour will be to force his way into the U23 squad as he will no longer be able to represent the U18s from next season.
He may well have to be patient for game time initially, given the amount of youngsters on the club’s books, but will surely receive opportunities in due course.
It remains to be seen, though, whether Gilmour will get the chance to test himself in the UEFA Youth League next campaign, with Arsenal’s involvement in that competition resting on whether the first-team can secure a place in the Champions League.
For now, Gilmour will simply be pleased to be back playing again following his injury nightmare and, wherever his career takes him, his special achievement last weekend will surely always rank as one of his highlights.