When Yassin Fortune joined Arsenal three years ago it was at the same time as Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
While Reine-Adelaide, with his stellar performances at the Emirates Cup, quickly became one of the club’s most hyped youngsters, Fortune’s spell at the club, which came to an end this week, never really took off.
It is easy to forget that when he first joined Fortune was seen as a brighter prospect than Reine-Adelaide, and the forward showed some tantalising glimpses of his potential with his displays for the youth sides in his first pre-season.
In the ensuing period, however, injuries took their toll, with Fortune falling down the pecking order and other youngsters, most notably Eddie Nketiah, getting ahead of him.
Fortune failed to command a regular starting berth for Arsenal’s title-winning U23 side last season but the club still decided to offer him a new contract.
The 19-year-old, however, rejected the deal and instead joined Swiss side FC Sion in a permanent move, where he will hope to push on and gain experience of senior football.
Capable of playing out wide or up front, Fortune is excellent technically, yet at times he lacks ruthlessness in front of goal and can often go missing in matches.
Had he remained at Arsenal then his chances, even at U23 level, probably would have been rather limited and it seemed unlikely that he would get the opportunity to break into the first-team.
His departure, then, is perhaps best for all concerned and it will be intriguing to see whether Fortune will go on to fulfil his vast potential elsewhere.
As far as Arsenal are concerned, the focus now turns to the development of two internally-developed striking prospects – Tyreece John-Jules and Folarin Balogun.
Both John-Jules and Balogun gained experience at U23 level in the second half of last season, and, although they are still eligible to play for the second-string next campaign, it is anticipated that they will primarily be involved with the older age group.
John-Jules’ positioning is of a very high standard, while Balogun uses his pace and flair to excellent effect, with both players seeking to follow in the footsteps of Nketiah, who became involved with the first-team last season having stood out at youth level.