Last season was certainly a strange one for Joseph Olowu.
Having previously mainly been deployed at centre-back, Olowu was moved to right-back by then U23s coach Freddie Ljungberg and started the season well as he produced some impressive performances.
However, an injury meant that Olowu spent much of the second half of the season on the sidelines, and there were even questions raised regarding his Arsenal future at one stage.
The 19-year-old has managed to battle back, though, and has been one of the best performers for the U23s in pre-season so far having reverted to his usual position of centre-back.
There was a time when Olowu was ahead of both Daniel Ballard and Zech Medley in the pecking order at Arsenal, but Ballard is now gaining experience of loan at Swindon Town, while Medley has featured for the Gunners at senior level.
Olowu, meanwhile, is still waiting for his first experience of senior football, and, despite the quality that he possesses, it seems somewhat unlikely that he will fulfil that objective this season unless there is an injury crisis.
For now, though, he is simply focused on building his fitness back up and re-establishing himself as a fundamental figure in the U23s, with Steve Bould rating the youngster highly.
The Checkatrade Trophy should provide Olowu with an opportunity to test himself against senior opponents, while he could also be given a chance to train with Unai Emery’s squad during international breaks.
Olowu’s situation is significantly more positive than it was a few months ago, but he is fully aware that he has much work to do in order to make the grade at Arsenal.
Having already overcome adversity, Olowu is ready to face any further difficulties that may come his way.