First-team opportunities weren’t quite as forthcoming for Arsenal youngsters this season as in previous campaigns, with Chris Willock the only player from outside the senior squad to make his debut.
Other prospects certainly developed apace, however, with Josh Dasilva falling into that category.
The 18-year-old, a product of the club’s Hale End academy, was on the bench for the EFL Cup victory over Nottingham Forest and the success against Preston North End in the FA Cup.
Although he remained an un-used substitute on both occasions, the fact that Dasilva made the squad suggests that he is highly regarded by Arsene Wenger, as does the starlet’s involvement in a first-team training session in the build-up to the FA Cup final.
Dasilva’s physical strength for a player his age is certainly a useful asset, as is his ability to perform effectively in different positions.
Previously a striker, Dasilva’s hold-up play is of a high standard but he lacks ruthlessness in front of goal, which prompted the club’s decision to convert him into an attacking midfielder.
A further transformation followed, with Dasilva switching to a deep-lying central-midfield position, where he has forged an impressive partnership with Marcus McGuane, a player he has been playing with for several years.
This term there were yet more new experiences for Dasilva as he filled in at left-back and centre-back at times given the shortage of options in those positions.
Dasilva’s game time was split between the U23s and the U18s this campaign but as of next season he is no longer eligible for the latter age group so will instead step up to the second-string on a regular basis.
The youngster’s progress has been recognised as this week he received his first call-up to the England U19 squad for a training camp ahead of the upcoming European Championship at that age group.
The main aim for Dasilva next season will be to establish himself as a regular for the U23s and hopefully make his first-team debut. His versatility and determination should definitely help him with regards to fulfilling both objectives.