Arsenal assess players from various countries, but the latest crop of youngsters to arrive at London Colney have had something in common in that they are all playing in North America.
Dantouma Toure, nicknamed Yaya, was born in Guinea but has represented the United States at youth level and currently plays for Colorado Rapids.
The 17-year-old is a talented winger and has been training with Arsenal’s U18 squad, during which time he has impressed with his pace and technical ability.
It subsequently emerged that another Colorado Rapids prospect, striker Darren Yapi, who is also 17, has been training with the Gunners.
In addition Arsenal are running the rule over a youngster who is considered one of the biggest prospects in Canada. Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, of Toronto FC, usually plays as a winger but has also been deployed at right-back or as a central midfielder. Like Toure and Yapi, he is 17 years old.
It is interesting that Arsenal are looking at several prospects from the same region, and there is a connection between the club and Colorado Rapids given Stan Kroenke’s ownership.
None of the aforementioned players would be able to join Arsenal officially until they turn 18, and it remains to be seen whether their involvement with the club will extend to anything more than a training stint during the MLS off-season.
Scouting American youngsters isn’t an entirely new phenomenon for Arsenal, who previously had the likes of Danny Karbassiyoon and Frankie Simek at the club, while Brek Shea and more recently Cole Bassett have trained at London Colney.
It certainly seems though that Arsenal have a renewed and keen interest in this market and it will be intriguing to see whether any of the aforementioned prospects end up signing for the club on a permanent basis.