He may not have made quite so many headlines as his close friend and compatriot Jeff Reine-Adelaide since joining Arsenal, but Yassin Fortune has still developed well in the ensuing period, and yesterday the prospect put pen to paper on his first professional contract with the club.
Whilst Reine-Adelaide has been on the cusp of the first-team squad, Fortune has mainly been restricted to playing for the U18s; indeed the attacker has made just one appearance for the U21s and hasn’t yet featured in the UEFA Youth League.
He has, however, been a mainstay for Frans de Kat’s improving U18 side and, despite initially being signed as a striker, has made quite an impact from wide positions so far this season, scoring six goals in the league.
Possessing elegance on the ball and an ability to weave his way past defenders, Fortune is an intriguing prospect, even though he has missed his fair share of goalscoring opportunities this season.
The 17-year-old also perhaps needs to pay more attention to his defensive duties when operating out wide, but for the most part he has made a positive impression since moving to the club.
The next step will be for Fortune to attempt to break into the U21 squad on a regular basis. Doing so certainly won’t be easy, with Arsenal possessing a wealth of talent in attacking areas at that age group, but the France youth international should get his chance in due course.
On the subject of professional contracts, the club also announced this week that Aaron Eyoma has accepted the club’s offer of a new deal, leaving Marc Bola, Savvas Mourgos and Ilias Chatzitheodoridis as the remaining second year scholars, who now have less than five months remaining on their contracts.
Fortune, meanwhile, became the latest member of the 2015 intake of scholars to turn professional, following Jordi Osei-Tutu, Tolaji Bola and Josh DaSilva (although the latter’s deal is still to be formally announced by the club).
It is a little surprising that the highly regarded Donyell Malen (who turned 17 last month) hasn’t yet signed a new deal. Meanwhile, midfielder Marcus McGuane is now eligible for professional terms after turning 17 yesterday.