Going into the Premier League Cup fixture away to Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, Arsenal had lost their previous three games in succession.
Aided by the return of Ben Cottrell from injury, however, the young Gunners managed to secure an impressive 3-0 victory.
Cottrell opened the scoring, with Catalin Cirjan and Alfie Matthews also managing to get on the scoresheet for Ken Gillard’s side.
Arsenal’s return to form can’t be solely attributed to Cottrell being back available, but the 17-year-old did play a significant part in the win.
Already tied to a professional contract, Cottrell, a central midfielder who can also play out wide, is composed in possession and relishes bursting forward with regularity.
Cottrell isn’t the tallest or strongest, which is perhaps why he is being eased in slowly at U23 level, but there is no doubt about the quality that he possesses.
As the campaign progresses it seems likely that Cottrell will become increasingly involved with the U23s before stepping up to that level on a full time basis next season.
Once Cottrell does become a more regular part of the U23 setup, that will allow younger players to make an impact for the U18s.
One player who falls into that category is Marcelo Flores, a Mexican schoolboy who joined Arsenal from Ipswich Town. The midfielder made his debut for the U18s in the aforementioned clash against Wolves.