Alexei Rojas Fedoruschenko plays for Arsenal’s U16 team, but the highly rated prospect was drafted into first-team training at London Colney yesterday.
With Aaron Ramsdale and Bernd Leno on international duty and Karl Hein out injured, Mikel Arteta took the opportunity to assess Fedoruschenko, who is looking to earn a scholarship deal ahead of next season.
Fedoruschenko has already been on the bench for the U18s and has also been involved with the U17s, but this was a significant step up for the Colombia youth international.
The youngster is also eligible to represent England or Russia on the international stage, but his primary focus at present will be on continuing to develop for Arsenal.
Schoolboy players training with the first-team is quite a rare occurrence, with Chris Willock, Arthur Okonkwo and Charlie Patino the only known examples from recent years.
The fact that Arteta called upon Fedoruschenko as opposed to selecting another goalkeeper from the academy shows that there is a feeling within the club that, in time, he could develop into a player who could break into the first-team squad.
However, the journey to the top, if indeed it does occur, is likely to be a lengthy one. Fedoruschenko’s development, though, will certainly have been helped by the experience that he gained yesterday.