In the same summer that a Welsh midfielder who was born on Boxing Day left the club, another player who fits that description has been taking his first steps towards establishing himself as part of the senior setup at Arsenal.
Robbie Burton knows that he still has much work to do in order to succeed with the Gunners, and there is no expectation that the 19-year-old will, in the immediate future at least, fill the void left by Aaron Ramsey.
However, Burton has enjoyed an excellent pre-season so far, which has encompassed him captaining the U23 side in their 3-3 draw against Boreham Wood before featuring for the first-team against Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich.
Burton caught the eye in the latter two fixtures with his composure in possession and seemed at ease when surrounded with senior team-mates.
Like James Olayinka, he hasn’t always stood out at U23 level – last season he scored just two goals and provided only two assists for the second-string in 12 appearances. He did, though, have some impressive performances as he helped the U18s reach the final of the FA Youth Cup two seasons ago.
Freddie Ljungberg, his former U23 coach, is certainly an admirer of Burton’s qualities, and it was the Swede who persuaded Unai Emery to include the Wales youth international in the travelling squad for the pre-season tour of the United States.
Burton certainly fits academy manager Per Mertesacker’s ‘Strong Young Gunners’ mantra, with the Hale End product always extremely committed and professional in his approach.
The youngster will hope for further first-team opportunities during pre-season and in the cup competitions once the competitive action gets underway.