Colchester United had their final fixture of pre-season on Saturday, taking on League One side Leyton Orient. Colchester themselves are set to play in League Two this season, so the game was a serious test.
Mauro Bandeira played an advanced midfield role on the day, and he completed the full 90 minutes as Colchester pulled off a surprise 2-1 win.
After the game, a couple of Colchester fans had some nice things to say about the Arsenal loanee.
“Very comfortable on the ball,” one fan wrote. “Calm and measured, I also noticed he is quite strong and won’t back out of a challenge.
“He suits our possession-based game very well and looking forward to seeing him more this season.”
“Nico Lawrence and Mauro Bandeira are looking like solid players ahead of next week,” another added.
Colchester will face Swindon Town in their opening League Two fixture on Saturday, August 5th at 15:00 BST, with the League Cup kicking off against Championship Cardiff City the following Wednesday.
Bandeira instantly stepped into the Colchester side after finalising his loan move, and he’s appeared in all of their friendlies since then.
Having made a positive impression in those games, you’d expect the 19-year-old to be in the starting lineup in the competitive fixtures now.
Bandeira isn’t the first Arsenal youth player to spend time on loan with Colchester United, with Tom Smith playing for the League Two side in the second half of last season.
Smith played a significant role in helping Colchester to avoid relegation, so it’s no surprise they’re showing faith in another Arsenal academy product this season.