Monday, February 26, 2024

Reuell Walters hoping to edge closer to first-team squad

Arsenal didn’t officially promote any youngsters to the first-team squad this summer but there are a group of players who are close to the senior setup.

Reuell Walters is certainly amongst them and, given his versatility in defence, the 18-year-old will hope that he can now become more involved with the first-team squad.

Walters joined Arsenal in 2020 and really came to prominence with some encouraging pre-season displays for the first-team in 2022.

Throughout most of his time at Arsenal the youngster has been deployed as a right-back, from where he relishes pushing forward to support the attack.

However, over the past six months or so Walters has been used increasingly often at centre-back, and it seems like that is the position in which the coaching staff see him progressing in the long term.

Walters is calm in possession, reads the game well and is strong physically for his age. There are some moments when he can get caught out, but his overall progress has been very encouraging.

Mikel Arteta has been reluctant to give many minutes to academy players in competitive games but it would only take a couple of more injuries for Arsenal’s defensive options to dwindle further to the extent that Walters would be in line to at least be on the bench for some games.

At some point in the near future Walters needs a loan spell that can really help him progress to the next level.

For now, though, he will be waiting patiently for an opportunity and will hope that his competitive debut for Arsenal will come in the not too distant future.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Heavenly Chapecoense

I di not remember a CB from the academy promoted to the first team in the last 20 years.


Djourou was probably the last one, around 2005? Though more of a late teen arrival who played a year or two with the academy rather than a true academy product. And wasn’t exactly someone you tell your grandchildren about either…

we haven’t been very good at developing defenders, hopefully Per is changing that gradually.

Der Kaiser

To be fair Djourou was very very talented but plagued by injuries ( note to Chelsea signing players on 7-8 yr contracts)

Alberto Balsam Mendez Rodriguez

Djorou was really good, such a shame that he sufferered so much from the injuries that plagued him.

Niccolo Galli may well have made it here, if not for that accident.


whatever happened to lino-sousa? i think that’s his name, the full back prospect that was supposed to be on the rise a year ago?


Yeah, Lino and Reuell are the standout academy defenders. I do feel we’re a bit unbalanced in terms of making space for youngsters though. The midfield is stacked now even though we have some really exciting young midfielders at the club (Patino, Nwaneri, Lewis-Skelly). We do look light in defence, but hopefully we can blood both Lino and Reuell in the Carabao atleast.

Dr. Gooner

We used up all the academy center back pixie dust on Tony Adams.

But I’m not going to complain about our academy!


Almost feels like this is in the plans with how thin we’ve become at the back: Saliba, Gabriel, white, zinny, Tomi, kiwior, [partey]… Walters. Almost like it would have been great to have a versatile LB/CB that can play a different style to what we already have?


Well, remove Partey for now as he is injured (again). We are almost back to the previous season’s defence, which I think is not a bad news.


We just got even thinner at the back – that is not good news. We’re down to 6 defenders + young guys like Walters. For a team competing in the champions league and with ambitions of another BIG title run, this just isn’t enough. I did not understand the Tierney loan before Partey got injured, looks even madder now.

The G

I think Arteta can give more minutes to youngsters when we are 3 goals ahead with 5 minutes remaining.


When did that last happen?


Is he a reuells royce of a defender?


Hope he can step up, we could do with another defender in the squad with Timber injured and would be great if it were him. How about Lino Sousa? Which one of them is the better prospect?


He should be getting chances in the domestic cups by default given we only have six first team defenders and our injury history. I think we are playing 55 matches at a minimum. Relying only on 6 players for that many games wouldn’t be smart especially given the tricky run-in at the business end of the season.


Agree with the sentiment re Walters but I wouldn’t say 55 is our minimum. I’d say it’s reasonable to expect 38 league games, 8 champions league and 3-4 domestic cup games (say we crash out of one early and make it deep-ish into the other), that makes about 50. Five more means we go deep into two of the cup competitions, which you’d hope for with this squad, but you can’t take it for granted that we will. It could conceivably be less than 50 if things go disasterously in Europe and the cups.


I’d love to see it. Let’s get him in for Carabao at least. Another cb/fb hybrid which is all the rage and could back up Benny.

I miss santi cazorla

Timber injury really sucks

Eric Blair

I think it’s throw a real spanner in the works, Arteta seemed to have a system worked out in preseason with him at the centre of it and he was looking so so good. I trust Arteta to sort it out, we must remain patient.


Loaning out Tierney after Timber’s injury sucks more


We have two injury prone LBs in Zinchenko & Tomi.
Kiwior is the only CB cover
Tomi is also the only RB cover.
For a 55 game season, the defence looks very thin. Tierney would have provided tactical flexibility and added to squad depth.

I miss santi cazorla

Cedric to save the day


Making use of an academy defender or 2, even if only on the bench, seems a must, especially 1st half of the season.
I guess RW is 1st in line?

Dr. Gooner

Ruell has drawn praise from Zinchenko for his strength in the challenge and his composure on the ball. He seems to be similar to Ben White in build and style, maybe a tad more physicality and a tad less technical ability. There’s a place for him in the squad this season with Timber’s injury. Let’s hope he kicks on.


Definitely hope he along with some other academy players can get some experience in the early rounds of the domestic cup competitions (along with some of the first team players that aren’t seeing much time).

Teryima Adi

Arteta doesn’t seem to believe in giving youth a chance. All the Hale Enders he is enjoying today were given their chance by coaches like Wenger and Emery. I wonder if Saka would have had his chance under Arteta from the get go. Emery gave Saka his break; Emery also gave Martinelli his break. Arteta is fast turning into a check book coach.

Norwegian Wood

Who gave the youngest player to ever play in the Premier League their debut?

Dr. Gooner

We had the youngest squad in the premier league last season.


Second, after Southampton. Luckily, we did slightly better with ours than they did with theirs…

Dr. Gooner

Also Saka, Eddie and Martinelli had single digit games under their belts when Mikel took over. They may have made their debuts under Emery but they blossomed under Mikel.

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x