Given his excellent technique, there has been a considerable amount of hype surrounding Vlad Dragomir since he joined Arsenal and now, in his third season at the club, the midfielder is starting to perform with greater consistency and is edging closer to the first-team squad.
Dragomir’s quality has never been in doubt, but for the majority of his first two seasons at Arsenal the Romanian youngster only impressed in patches, often drifting in and out of games, performing the odd moment of magic but not having much of an impact overall.
That is now starting to change, with Dragomir having improved both tactically and physically, meaning he is ready to cope with the demands of U23 football.
Dragomir has two goals in his last three appearances for Arsenal U23s and has thrived of late, making the most of his aforementioned technical ability but also becoming more of a team player and making a more significant contribution overall.
The prospect’s progress has certainly been noticed by Arsene Wenger, who named Dragomir on the bench for the Europa League game away to BATE Borisov in September.
Although Dragomir was an unused substitute on that occasion, his inclusion in the squad indicated that he is edging closer to making the step up to the first-team and there is a good chance that he will make his senior debut for the club either this season or next.
Dragomir is approaching the stage in his development where most players go on loan for the first time but there is an element of concern regarding whether it would be a good idea for such a move to take place given the difficulties that other Arsenal youngsters have experienced with temporary transfers of late.
At the moment Dragomir is relishing playing regularly for Arsenal U23s and is certainly starting to establish himself as an important figure for Steve Gatting’s side.
With Arsenal having already secured their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League there is a possibility that Wenger could give further opportunities to youngsters in the last two group stage fixtures, especially with the home game against BATE Borisov coming in the midst of a hectic schedule.
If Dragomir continues to catch the eye at U23 level he could certainly play himself into contention to be involved in some capacity against BATE.