Last season Ben Cottrell made his debut for the Arsenal first-team against Dundalk in the Europa League, which came at a time when he was a prominent figure for the U23s, playing every minute where possible.
Over the past year, however, Cottrell has endured much misfortune with injuries, and there are now concerns about whether he still has a chance of making the breakthrough.
Having spent the end of last season on the sidelines, Cottrell featured for the U23s at the start of the current campaign but struggled to make an impact in the 6-1 defeat to West Ham United on the opening day and ended up losing his place in the starting lineup.
The midfielder then suffered another injury, which kept him out until recently, when he made his comeback against Bournemouth in the U23 Premier League Cup. After playing 90 minutes in that game, Cottrell started the league game away to Derby County and managed to find the net.
Such is his luck, though, Cottrell appeared to injure himself while taking the penalty from which he scored. The 20-year-old was substituted shortly afterwards and revealed this week that he had to undergo surgery to rectify his latest problem.
At his best Cottrell is a very talented player who possesses an impressive passing range and a goal threat. He is also capable of filling in on the left side of the defence if required.
In addition to his problems on the fitness front, another cause for concern for Cottrell is the fact that there are a host of younger midfielders at the club who are making encouraging progress. The likes of Miguel Azeez, Charlie Patino, Salah-Eddine, Jack Henry-Francis and more will be looking to really push on, which could make matters even more difficult for Cottrell in the long-term.