Arsenal youngster Dominic Thompson has found himself in a rather unusual situation this sesson.
The left-back, who signed professional terms last summer, has found regular game time difficult to come by at U23 level as he has been competing for a place in the side with Cohen Bramall and Tolaji Bola, both of whom are older than him.
However, Thompson has frequently been selected for involvement in first-team training sessions since Unai Emery’s appointment and travelled with the squad for the Europa League game away to Vorskla Poltava, although he didn’t make the bench.
The fact that Thompson is in Emery’s thoughts is encouraging for the youngster and indicates that he could perhaps receive a chance to impress in the cup competitions next season.
Before then, however, Thompson will be eager to conclude the current campaign strongly and become increasingly involved with the U23s.
Although he is also capable of playing as a left-winger if required, Thompson is mainly used in defence.
The youngster provides a frequent threat in an attacking sense and, like most Hale End products, has impressive technique.
He can get caught out defensively on occasions, though, and will be aiming to work hard in training to become more consistent.
Thompson has found himself in a similar situation before. In his first season as a scholar he wasn’t heavily involved for the U18s.
That will require much determination, but training with the first-team will certainly have helped Thompson in his development.
There is a possibility that both Bramall and Bola could leave the club at the end of the season, with neither player having managed to push on as expected.
In such a scenario, Thompson could get the chances that he has been waiting for.