In the summer Jordi Osei-Tutu received a glimpse of what it is like to be involved with the Arsenal first-team squad and, having overcome a frustrating start to the season, the defender is now determined to edge closer to the senior squad.
Although his regular position is at right-back, Osei-Tutu also featured at left-back in pre-season and coped admirably, prompting suggestions that he could make his competitive debut for the club in the early stages of the campaign.
Osei-Tutu started well for the U23s but then suffered an injury that has kept him sidelined for almost three months.
This week, however, there was some positive news for the 20-year-old, who was deemed fit enough to train with Unai Emery’s squad.
The fact that Osei-Tutu was involved in the session in his first game back after injury indicates that the youngster is still very much part of Emery’s future plans when it comes to giving young players opportunities.
Unfortunately for Osei-Tutu, though, the fact that he needs to build up his match fitness after a lengthy spell out may prevent him from featuring during the next few weeks, when Arsenal have a hectic schedule.
Firstly Osei-Tutu will be looking to get back playing again for the U23s, who have coped rather well in his absence with Julio Pleguezuelo and Joseph Olowu filling in well at right-back.
Osei-Tutu’s ability to play at left-back is particularly useful given that Nacho Monreal has spent much time on the sidelines and he surely would have been involved in some capacity for Emery’s side already this campaign had he not been injured.
Now is not the time to wonder what might have been. Instead, Osei-Tutu must focus on building up his sharpness so that he is fully prepared if he is called upon for the senior squad.
Given the quality that he possesses, it wouldn’t be surprising if Osei-Tutu was to seize his chance when it eventually does arrive.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird