BEING a talented young Gunner at the moment is paying dividends.
In the past year, under the reign of Mikel Arteta, Arsenal have introduced a number of promising youth products from their Hale End academy into first team training.
Arsenal U18 star Omari Hutchinson is highly thought of at their Hale End academy[/caption]
Some, like Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, are even managing to cement their place in Arteta’s first eleven.
Joining Miguel Azeez, Charlie Patino and Nikolaj Moller on the fringes of all the action is 17-year-old Omari Hutchinson – earning rave reviews among the Arsenal coaching staff.
An attacking midfielder with quick feet and bags of pace, Hutchinson was spied listening attentively to his Spanish boss during coaching sessions at the tail-end of last year.
Even veteran David Luiz was impressed by his efforts – and embraced the youngster with a high-five.
FULL OF POTENTIAL AND BELIEF
Back in November, Hutchinson signed his first pro contract with Arsenal, who he has been with since the age of 11.
“A proud day for me and my family and I look forward to pushing on and continuing to work hard,” he wrote on his Instagram as a caption for a photo that showed him inking his deal.
Cheekily, he added: “Debut soon to come.”
The confidence he has in his ability translates to the swagger he plays with on the pitch.
An attacking midfielder who has drawn comparisons with Raheem Sterling, Hutchinson boasts fine dribbling skills and an eye for a goal playing on the right wing.
A quick midfielder, Hutchinson can play out wide or as a No10[/caption]
Last weekend he was the star performer in the 4-1 rout of Tottenham for the U18’s – scoring a brilliant individual goal and grabbing an assist.
And he is equally as adept playing in a No10 role, while he was also used at left-back.
ARTETA IS IMPRESSED
A few months before Hutchinson penned his deal with the club, he was drafted into a first team training session with Arteta and Arsenal’s main stars.
Immediately, he impressed his boss with his passing, skill on the ball, movement and his determination.
Of course, Arteta had heard from Hutchinson’s youth coaches that he was one of the most exciting players in the academy.
But the proof was there that he could cut it with the big boys and he wasn’t overawed by the senior stars.
First team star David Luiz was impressed by Hutchinson[/caption]
Hutchinson takes the ball past Arsenal goalie Alex Runarsson[/caption]
Big things are expected of Hutchinson[/caption]
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Brazilian legend David Luiz was certainly one who had admiration for Hutchinson – with the curly-mopped defender beaming towards the boy before offering him his hand.
So far, Hutchinson leads the way in the U18 Premier League in assists – with six in his first 10 games.
If he continues his fine form, his bold prediction about making his debut soon might come true quicker than even he thought.