He arrived at Arsenal rather under the radar, but Ismael Bennacer impressed sufficiently during his first season at the club to suggest that he has a very bright future ahead of him.
The French youth international, who usually operates as a defensive-midfielder, quickly established himself as a prominent player for Arsenal at both U21 and U19 levels, while he also made his first-team debut in the ill-fated Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
The 18-year-old combines steel and skill to excellent effect. He is superb at winning possession back and frequently harasses opponents into making mistakes, while he is also extremely composed on the ball and has a tendency to shoot from distance.
Bennacer trained with the first-team on several occasions during 2015/16 and he will hope to become further involved with the senior squad next campaign.
Despite being rather small and not particularly strong, Bennacer managed to adapt instantly to the rigours of English football and another season of development in the second-string should prime him ahead of a possible loan spell the following campaign.
Bennacer missed the end of the season- and Arsenal’s U21 promotion success- through injury, and as a consequence wasn’t included in France’s squad for the upcoming U19 European Championships.
However, he should be fully fit to feature for Arsenal in pre-season and will be hopeful of enjoying another successful campaign with the Gunners.