Last season was certainly frustrating for Dominic Thompson as, in his first season as a scholar at Arsenal, the young left-back was used sparingly at U18 level.
This campaign he has seen his game time increase significantly, however, to the extent that he has captained Kwame Ampadu’s side of late and has also played a major part in the club’s run to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
The Hale End graduate went into this campaign knowing that it was a decisive season as far as his quest to earn a professional contract is concerned and he has certainly seized the opportunities that have been afforded to him.
While Thompson has yet to break into the U23 squad, the fact that he has featured so heavily in the Youth Cup perhaps provides an indication that he will be kept on next season, as does the lack of options that the second string currently have at left-back beyond Tolaji Bola.
Although he isn’t the strongest physically, Thompson has improved tactically this campaign and has also provided an attacking threat.
There is work for him to do, and he can still get caught out of position at times, but the 17-year-old’s hopes of still being at Arsenal next season have now been boosted.
Thompson will surely relish the opportunity to play at Emirates Stadium in the second leg of the Youth Cup semi-final against Blackpool and a good performance in that game would strengthen his case for being retained even further.