Kaylen Hinds has always been very highly regarded at Arsenal, with the youngster having featured in the NextGen Series when he was still a schoolboy, but a succession of injuries have so far prevented him from edging closer to the first-team squad.
The 18-year-old has been used as a striker in the past but now seems more at home as an attacking midfielder, where he can link play to excellent effect and make driving runs forward.
An impressive goalscorer himself, Hinds featured prominently for Arsenal at U21 level last season and produced some encouraging performances, but his start to this season was hampered by yet another injury.
Having made his comeback in the recent UEFA Youth League defeat to Basel, Hinds is now raring to go and will be looking to re-establish himself as a key player in the Arsenal U23 side despite facing stern competition for a starting berth from the likes of Gedion Zelalem and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
No longer eligible for the U18s, Hinds’ playing time is likely to be split between the U23s and the UEFA Youth League and, as he is still working his way back to full sharpness, it appears that a first-team debut in the EFL Cup will have to wait until next season.
However, Arsene Wenger is certainly aware of Hinds’ vast potential, with the youngster having trained with the senior squad on several occasions last season, and, if he impresses sufficiently between now and the end of the campaign, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that the starlet could earn a place in the squad for the first-team’s pre-season tour next summer.
For now, having endured so many injury setbacks in recent seasons, Hinds will simply be relishing playing again and in the long term will be seeking to prove that he is still capable of making the grade at Arsenal.