There have been tentative suggestions of late that Zech Medley could be officially promoted to the Arsenal first-team squad, but, while such a scenario seems unlikely at present, it should still be a very eventful campaign for the young defender.
Medley was on the periphery of the first-team last season, and made three senior appearances in addition to being named on the bench in the Premier League.
In pre-season Medley was again involved with Unai Emery’s side, but, despite a couple of impressive showings in the earlier games, the match against Angers demonstrated that the 19-year-old still has much to learn.
In that game Medley frequently squandered possession in dangerous areas, while his positioning was also questionable.
Given his height and technical ability, there have been claims from some supporters for Medley to be given as much playing time as possible, especially when Arsenal’s current central-defensive situation is taken into account.
It seems clear, though, that Medley isn’t quite ready for that level of responsibility yet, and he must iron out the aforementioned errors before he can be considered as a genuine option in the Premier League.
He could still, however, be heavily involved in the cup competitions for Arsenal this season and will doubtless have benefitted from working alongside Rob Holding, who played alongside him for the U23s recently.
A loan spell in the second half of the season could be hugely beneficial for Medley’s development as he would be able to test himself against senior opponents before returning to Arsenal next summer, hopefully ready to compete for a place in the first-team squad.
For now, Medley will be determined to keep working hard and pushing for further opportunities, even if he is still some way from being ready to feature regularly.