He was once described by none other than Liam Brady as Arsenal’s best schoolboy, but now is the time for Charlie Gilmour to start fulfilling his potential.
The midfielder endured a mixed first season as a scholar as he missed several games through injury, but when he did feature Gilmour provided an indication of his quality as he played some neat passes when representing the club at U18 level.
As he prepares to enter the second year of his scholarship deal, Gilmour doesn’t have any guarantees that he will be rewarded with a professional contract, meaning that the 2016/17 campaign is pivotal for him.
Competition for places at youth level at Arsenal is fierce, but even more so in midfield, with the young Gunners having an abundance of talented players in that area of the pitch.
Gilmour only started to establish himself as a key player for the U18s in the second half of last season but he will hope to feature prominently at that level next time around before hopefully stepping up to the U19s and perhaps even the U21s as the campaign progresses.
The 17-year-old is capable of unlocking defences with precise passes, whilst he also possesses excellent close control and often shoots from distance. However, the key aspect of his game that Gilmour needs to improve upon is his tactical awareness, and he tends to lose concentration at times, which can leave his side vulnerable, particularly when he is deployed in a deep-lying midfield position.
Gilmour’s interntional career, meanwhile, has been rather eventful thus far, with the prospect having featured for Scotland U15s, Scotland U16s, England U16s, England U17s and Scotland U17s as he constantly flits between the two nations.
His main focus next season, however, will be on his club commitments, with Gilmour seeking to prove that he deserves an extended stay at Arsenal.