Former Arsenal academy manager Andries Jonker was reluctant for many of the club’s youngsters to play above their age group but, with the Dutchman no longer at the helm, several members of the U18 squad have been getting opportunities at U23 level of late.
One player who falls into that category is Tyreece John-Jules, with the first-year scholar being rewarded for his hugely impressive performances at U18 level.
Capable of playing up front or behind the striker, John-Jules was deployed as a left-sided forward as a depleted Arsenal U23s side were beaten 3-1 by Swansea City on Monday night and, despite the disappointing result, the 16-year-old emerged from the encounter with his reputation further enhanced.
John-Jules is a hard-working player and, while his main focus is on scoring goals, he is also very effective at holding the ball up and bringing others into play.
A fine dribbler, the Hale End graduate frequently gets into dangerous attacking areas, although he missed an inviting opportunity to score against Swansea City.
During the recent international break John-Jules trained with the remaining first-team players at London Colney and he made quite an impact, on one occasion scoring a fine goal after getting the better of Calum Chambers.
The prospect will have to be patient to even be considered for first-team involvement in cup competitions but he is developing very quickly and will aim to establish himself as a regular for the U23s before the conclusion of the campaign.
The third round of the FA Youth Cup is also on the horizon, with Arsenal hosting Sheffield Wednesday, and John-Jules will hope to both be involved in that competition and make a major impact.
So far his first season as a full time Arsenal academy player is going very well indeed.