It is testament to the progress that Bukayo Saka has made over the past year or so that he wasn’t included in Arsenal’s squad for the Dallas Cup.
The hugely talented winger has instead remained in England so that he can feature for the U23s away to Chelsea on Monday night, and Saka has enjoyed an excellent season that has seen him gain first-team recognition in various competitions, including the Premier League.
Last season, when he was still a schoolboy, Saka made an excellent impact for Arsenal at the Dallas Cup, impressing with his pace, trickery and crossing, but this time around there will be an opportunity for another Arsenal youngster to catch the eye in the United States.
Kido Taylor-Hart will sign scholarship terms with the Gunners ahead of next season and the Hale End graduate has been a regular for the U16s this campaign, while he also featured fleetingly for the U18s.
A player with excellent close control who relishes cutting inside, Taylor-Hart can play on either flank but is particularly effective on the left wing and will certainly see Saka as a player that he can aspire to be like.
Matching Saka’s progress will certainly be a daunting task, especially given that he had already gained much more experience of U18 football at this stage of his development than Taylor-Hart has.
However, Taylor-Hart is very highly rated by the Arsenal youth coaches and, like Saka, is fearless in possession, frequently taking the game to the opposition.
Playing for an Arsenal U19 side alongside more familiar names such as Folarin Balogun, Trae Coyle and Matt Smith will be an excellent experience for Taylor-Hart and he will be hoping to seize his opportunity, much like Saka did a year ago.