It wasn’t exactly in the circumstances that he had envisaged as he took the field at an empty Emirates Stadium, but yesterday Trae Coyle made his first senior appearance for Arsenal in the friendly defeat to Brentford.
Coyle was only on the pitch for five minutes at the end of the game as he replaced Reiss Nelson, but, despite the result, he will have been delighted to have been involved with the senior squad and will now hope that a competitive debut will follow before the conclusion of the campaign.
This moment has been a long time coming for the 19 year old, who was previously seen as one of Arsenal’s standout prospects. There have been many ups and downs since then, with injuries not helping his cause, but over the past couple of seasons Coyle has started to perform with greater consistency.
The winger is usually deployed on the right flank, and, although he only scored two goals for the U23s this season, the vast majority of his performances were of a high standard.
A player who has excellent close control, Coyle has shown signs of improvement in a tactical sense and has clearly impressed Mikel Arteta in training.
There is still a long way to go for Coyle if he is to succeed at Arsenal, and it is anticipated that he could be sent out on loan next season to provide a greater gauge of the level that he is currently at.
He will aim, though, to be on the periphery of the first-team squad over the coming weeks and, with the games being played in quick succession, you never know when an opportunity may arise.