Jordi Osei-Tutu has been included in Arsenal’s travelling squad for today’s Premier League game away to Manchester United and the 19-year-old’s involvement is certainly fully deserved.
The right-back, who is strong physically and possesses impressive technique, was a consistent performer as Arsenal U23s won the Premier League 2 title this season and he now seems ready to step up to first-team football in some capacity.
Osei-Tutu provides a regular threat going forwards and his teasing crosses often create all manner of problems for opposing defences, while he has also improved significantly in a defensive sense and is capable of filling in at centre-back if required.
Arsenal are in need of a right-back to provide competition for Hector Bellerin and Osei-Tutu could well be the player to do that, although, with a new manager set to arrive, it is of course difficult to anticipate exactly what will happen.
Bellerin has also travelled to Manchester, so it isn’t guaranteed that Osei-Tutu will receive any game time today, but if he was to make his senior debut at Old Trafford it would be quite an occasion for the prospect, who joined Arsenal from Reading’s academy nearly three years ago.
Wenger has often praised Osei-Tutu in interviews this season and named him on the bench for both Europa League games against Red Star Belgrade as well as the FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest and the Carabao Cup victory over Norwich City.
It will be intriguing to see what lies in store for Osei-Tutu next season and whether he can force his way into the senior squad on a regular basis, but for now he is set to receive some recognition for the work that he has done this campaign.
Starting the youngster up against the considerable threat of Alexis Sanchez would be something of a risk, but Osei-Tutu would not be fearful of any challenge and he has coped well against senior opponents at U23 level.
Arsenal do normally take 19 players to away games so there is a possibility that Osei-Tutu might not even make the matchday squad but if he is involved in any capacity then it will be fully deserved.