Ben Cottrell shows that he deserves further first-team chances

Ben Cottrell certainly demonstrated why Arsenal named him as their scholar of the year for last season, with the Hale End graduate giving an impressive account of himself during his maiden first-team outing against MK Dons yesterday.

Cottrell has progressed through the ranks as a creative player, who has also been used out wide, but he was deployed as a left wing-back at Stadium MK.

The 18-year-old rose to the considerably difficult challenge as he coped well defensively and also demonstrated his slick passing when opportunities arose.

It was certainly an encouraging first involvement at senior level for Cottrell and it will hopefully persuade Mikel Arteta to give him further opportunities when the real action gets underway.

With Arsenal facing a packed schedule, opportunities could well arise for Cottrell to be involved in some capacity in the Carabao Cup and perhaps also the Europa League.

It is hoped, however, that at some stage he will get the chance to showcase his credentials in midfield. Cottrell can operate effectively as an attacking midfielder or in a slightly deeper position and, although they are not completely alike, there are some similarities with Jack Wilshere with regards to his playing style.

The Trophy will also give Cottrell a chance to test himself against senior opponents and this could well prove to be a significant campaign as he looks to edge closer to achieving his aim of making the breakthrough at Arsenal.


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