In a week where Reiss Nelson received further first-team playing time there was more good news for the Arsenal academy as Trae Coyle, who, it can be strongly argued is the club’s next best youth prospect, seemingly committed his future to the Gunners.
A player who is similar to Nelson in some aspects, Coyle can play as an attacking midfielder or out wide, is composed in possession and also a fine dribbler who is capable of unlocking opposing defences with perfectly-weighted passes.
Arsenal have always regarded Coyle very highly – that much was in evidence when he trained full time with the U18 squad at London Colney last season while he was still a schoolboy.
There was some concern, then, when Coyle wasn’t registered in Arsenal’s Premier League squad for the first half of the season and it subsequently emerged that he hadn’t yet signed scholarship terms with the club.
Coyle missed the start of the season through injury in any case but there were fears that the 16-year-old could be signed by another club.
However, reports indicate that Coyle has now signed his scholarship deal at Arsenal and is set to resume playing for the U18s shortly.
This may only seem like a small detail, but, given Coyle’s vast potential, it is a rather significant development.
While he may not be quite at the same level as Nelson was a year ago, Coyle is capable of progressing through the ranks very quickly indeed if he is able to make the most of his attributes.
Last season, for example, he featured for Arsenal U19s in their UEFA Youth League campaign and was frequently involved for the U18s, where he didn’t look out of place playing alongside the likes of Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock.
The hope now is that once he returns to full fitness Coyle can quickly rediscover his best form and make a major impact for the U18s.
Emile Smith Rowe, who usually plays on the left flank, is the standout Arsenal player at U18 level at present, but of the current batch of first-year scholars, Coyle stands out.