Nathan Tormey was highly regarded by Arsenal as a schoolboy but since then the talented youngster has endured much frustration.
Injuries have prevented Tormey, who can play as an attacking midfielder or a winger, from pushing on further, but this season he has frequently been left out of the U23s squad even when he has been fully fit.
Indeed, prior to last night’s game against Swansea City, Tormey had made just two substitute appearances this season, against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy and Everton in Premier League 2, playing a combined total of 15 minutes.
It is true that Arsenal have lots of prospects at their disposal, but Tormey surely deserves more opportunities than he has received so far.
Last night, for example, the 18-year-old produced an excellent cameo as he scored the equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Swansea, finding the net from a tight angle.
There is a possibility that Tormey could leave Arsenal in the near future, perhaps even at the end of the current campaign, but his display against Swansea suggests that he should be retained for at least another season.
With his pace and flair, Tormey is capable of tormenting opposing defenders – he is a fine crosser of the ball and is also able to find the net himself.
There are five games remaining for Arsenal U23s this season and it will be intriguing to see how many of them Tormey features in, if any at all.
Had Joe Willock been available for last night’s game it is questionable whether Tormey would have even made the bench, but he certainly warranted his inclusion.
Tormey could be forgiven for feeling disheartened with his current predicament, but his exploits against Swansea could well prove to be something of a turning point in terms of him receiving the opportunities that his quality warrants.
Nathan Tormey’s appearances since signing scholarship terms in 2016
U18s – January 7, 2017 – Arsenal 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2 – 32 minutes
U21s – December 4, 2018 – Portsmouth 2 Arsenal 1 – 5 minutes
U23s – October 26, 2018 – Swansea City 1 Arsenal 1 – 10 minutes
March 4, 2018 – Arsenal 2 Swansea City 2 – 22 minutes