Having suffered a serious hamstring injury last season Stephy Mavididi will surely be pleased just to be fully fit again but the Arsenal striker’s loan spell at Championship club Preston North End hasn’t exactly worked out as expected so far.
Mavididi has started just one league game so far this season – as a right winger – and has yet to find the net. However, the 19-year-old does at least appear to be part of the club’s plans in some capacity this season, which is more than can be said for Cohen Bramall at Birmingham City.
A powerful striker with excellent technique, Mavididi was a regular on the scoresheet for Arsenal at youth level and frequently played above his age group, while he made the bench for the first-team in the League Cup last campaign.
The prospect showed some encouraging initial signs on loan at Charlton Athletic in the second half of last season but his campaign was cruelly cut short by his aforementioned injury.
This season, however, has had some positive moments so far for Mavididi, one of which came this week as he hit a brace for England U20s in their 4-0 thrashing of Czech Republic.
That brace will undoubtedly boost Mavididi’s confidence and it is hoped now that the Hale End graduate will receive further time for Preston and showcase his credentials in the Championship.
Mavididi will certainly hope to avoid the fate suffered by Chuba Akpom, who scored goals galore for Arsenal at youth level but was anything but prolific during his various loan spells.
So far Mavididi has played eleven senior games without finding the net but his first goal will hopefully be a precursor to many more.
The youngster’s long-term objective, of course, remains to break into the Arsenal first-team, although his chances in that regard could be affected by the excellent progress of Eddie Nketiah.
Mavididi, though, is still a very talented player and he will be determined now to seize his opportunity at Preston if, indeed, he is afforded one.