Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ben Cottrell takes major step forward in return from injury

Last season was memorable for Ben Cottrell as, after many years of hard work in the academy, he made his debut for the Arsenal first-team when he featured as a substitute against Dundalk in the Europa League.

Cottrell was a mainstay for Arsenal’s U23 side for most of last season and was often one of the better performers in a campaign that included some disappointing results.

However, Cottrell then endured much frustration as he missed the end of the season through injury.

Now, though, the 19-year-old is closing in on a return to full fitness and he was among the scorers as Arsenal U23s secured a 4-1 victory over Ebbsfleet in a friendly today.

A midfielder who is both committed and skilful, Cottrell has been made available for loan ahead of the new campaign and it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

Although he probably has the quality to play in a higher division, a temporary switch to a League Two club wouldn’t be out of the question for Cottrell, who will be looking to demonstrate that he can cope in such a physical division despite being rather short in stature.

Cottrell will be fully aware that he faces much competition in attempting to break into Arsenal’s midfield given that the likes of Miguel Azeez and Charlie Patino are at the club.

However, a productive loan spell this season would be hugely beneficial for his development as he looks to push on further.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Q3 Technique

Maybe a year in the Eriedivision would do him good

Tanned arse

This is the kid I rate the highest of the current academy yet I suspect he’ll be let go and will end up struggling in the lower leagues. He’s sharp, see things super quick and ages the right in game decisions. His football IQ is very high but he’s the sort of player that excells with a more technical side that plays quick. I think he’ll just struggle to find a team that ever fits his qualities.

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