2020 was a frustrating year for Charles Sagoe Jr as, although he signed scholarship terms, he found himself on the periphery of the Arsenal U18s squad.
On many occasions Sagoe Jr was either an unused substitute or left out of the matchday squad entirely, but throughout 2021 he has established himself as a key player for the U18s in the league.
It was somewhat fitting, then, that Sagoe Jr scored the U18s’ final goal of the calendar year, and it was an important one too, with his strike, which came in the 85th minute, salvaging a point for Arsenal away to Fulham yesterday.
This is a crucial season for the 17-year-old as he will either be offered a professional contract ahead of next season or will be released.
Given the high standard of his performances so far this campaign it seems very likely that Sagoe Jr will be retained, with the prospect having been a hub of creativity for Dan Micciche’s side.
Sagoe Jr previously mainly played as a left winger but since the U18s switched to a 3-4-2-1 system he has usually operated in one of the positions behind the striker, where he has made a significant impact.
Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup by Colchester United in frustrating fashion recently, and after the game there was a feeling that Sagoe Jr, who only featured as a late substitute in that game, should have started.
This season Sagoe Jr has scored four goals for the U18s in the league and he also found the net for the U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy with a dramatic late winner against Newport County.
The youngster, who possesses excellent close control, has gone under the radar somewhat but he has performed very well this year and will now aim to push on even further in 2022.