It has been a significant week for Omari Hutchinson, and it hasn’t quite finished yet.
The talented youngster, who is undoubtedly one of the best products in Arsenal’s academy at present, was named on the bench for the first-team against Nottingham Forest and Liverpool, while in between that he produced an excellent display for the U21s against Chelsea in the Papa John’s Trophy.
It is possible that Hutchinson could be involved for the U23s against West Ham United tonight, and, depending on which other players are available, he could also be on the bench for the first-team away to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Hutchinson may have to wait a while to make his competitive debut for the first-team, but this week has been a major step in the right direction for him.
The 18-year-old had a brief spell out of the starting lineup for the U23s earlier in the campaign but overall he has been one of the star performers for Kevin Betsy’s side. Having previously mostly been deployed on the right wing, of late there have been times, such as against Chelsea, where Hutchinson has been used as a second striker.
With his pace, flair and impressive link-up play, in addition to his ability to score spectacular goals at youth level (he found the net in fine fashion against Chelsea), there is much to like about Hutchinson’s game.
Although he needs to get slightly stronger physically, he has continued to progress well and next season could be very important for his development as he is likely to get more exposure to senior football.
Where that will be remains to be seen. If Arsenal are in the Europa League, for instance, then that could provide Hutchinson with an opportunity to showcase his credentials, or alternatively he may be sent out on loan for the first time.
One thing that seems clear is that Hutchinson won’t be in the U23s for long. This is his first season playing regularly at that level and he is still eligible for the U18s, but bigger things are on the horizon.