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Arsenal youngster to replace Jurrien Timber

Arsenal youngster to replace Jurrien Timber

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One shining prospect emerging from this scenario is Hale End academy graduate, Reuell Walters.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Reuell Walters of Arsenal controls the ball during the FA Youth Cup Final match between Arsenal U18 and West Ham United U18 at Emirates Stadium on April 25, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 25: Reuell Walters of Arsenal controls the ball during the FA Youth Cup Final match between Arsenal U18 and West Ham United U18 at Emirates Stadium on April 25, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
  • Jurrien Timber’s injury pushes Arteta towards promoting Reuell Walters from the academy.
  • Jack Wilshere, head of Arsenal’s U18, firmly backs Walters’ inclusion in the senior squad.
  • Arsenal remain committed to youth while also making significant signings in the transfer window.

The potential of Walters

Reuell Walters, just 18, has been creating ripples in the football community, with numerous appearances on the first team’s bench.

His versatility, playing in diverse roles such as right-back, centre-half, and occasionally midfield, further cements his case.

The youngster’s potential is reportedly well known at Arsenal, with some likening it to that of William Saliba.

The academy sensation’s journey with Arsenal began in 2020, post his stint at Tottenham Hotspur.

ORLANDO, FL - JULY 22: Brendan Lambe #10 ICC Futures All Stars North Carolina and Reuell Walters #2 of Tottenham Hotspur FC (Right) chase the ball during the International Champions Cup 2018 Futures Tournament match at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 22, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/ Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL – JULY 22: Brendan Lambe #10 ICC Futures All Stars North Carolina and Reuell Walters #2 of Tottenham Hotspur FC (Right) chase the ball during the International Champions Cup 2018 Futures Tournament match at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 22, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/ Getty Images)

Rising through the ranks swiftly, he’s become integral to Arsenal’s U-21 side, even donning England’s colours for the U18 and U19 squads.

Jack Wilshere, at the helm of Arsenal’s U18 team, is amongst Walters’ staunchest supporters, continually voicing his belief in the young gun.

Wilshere’s advocacy for Walters is epitomised in his statement, “I believe Walters should be given the chance to impress.”

Awaiting the main stage

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: Reuell Walters of Arsenal passes during the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final match between Arsenal U18 and Manchester City U18 at Emirates Stadium on April 04, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 04: Reuell Walters of Arsenal passes during the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final match between Arsenal U18 and Manchester City U18 at Emirates Stadium on April 04, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Although Walters’ brushes with the senior squad aren’t new, he’s still on the cusp of his competitive debut.

He’s shared the pitch with the first team in pre-season games against Watford and FC Nurnberg and trained at the Emirates.

The prospect of seeing him in the squad against Crystal Palace is tantalising for fans.

Reflecting on his journey, Walters conveyed his enthusiasm, “I’m just really grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. I just want to make sure that I start to push on and do what I’ve been doing before, but now to a new level.”

Arsenal’s proactive approach

Martin Odegaard and Reuell Walters applaud the Arsenal fans (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Martin Odegaard and Reuell Walters applaud the Arsenal fans (Photo via Arsenal.com)

This pivot towards young talent doesn’t signify Arsenal’s dormancy in the transfer market.

Their summer has been illuminated by the likes of Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and David Raya, translating to spending exceeding €230 million.

The club’s ethos is clear: a blend of experienced campaigners and spirited youngsters.

As evidenced in their pre-season face-off with FC Nurnberg, prodigies like Walters, Ethan Nwaneri, and Myles Lewis-Skelly are ready to illuminate the Premier League with their raw talent.

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