Arsenal youngster compared to Liam Brady but he has to add power

Ben Cottrell has been featured in Mail Sports’ Secret Scout as he continues his development with the Gunners youth teams.

The 19-year-old is one of several players that are hoping to break through at the Emirates, and he could be in line to leave the club on loan soon to further his development.

Mail Sports’ Secret Scout has watched him for some time now and delivered his verdict on the youngster whom he compares to Liam Brady.

In one game that he watched him, he spoke about how the midfielder had overcome the limitations of not being tall enough despite facing bigger opponents.

In that particular game, he displayed very good decision making, aggression, and good reading of the game. The scout concluded that he is a player that has a football brain.

With a loan move away from the club probably the next step in his development, the scout says he needs to add more power to his game before he can star in the lower leagues, considering how tough they can be.

Ther report said: “He may need to gain more power before going out on loan to the lower leagues.

“But potential clubs should not be put off by his lack of inches.

“At times he showed shades of former Arsenal left-footed playmakers like Graham Rix, Paul Davis or the great Liam Brady. He needs good players to respond to his promptings and must get goal conscious. 

“Here he scored with a waspish left foot and he should shoot more often. He definitely has a future if he can find a pathway.”

Tags Ben Cottrell


  1. Of course I hope he comes good, but this sounds like a scouting report for a 16 year old prospect, not a 19 year old…our club needs to completely rethink their academy approach because our financial model requires that we have younger & cheaper players on the pitch, with the first team, sooner than ever…we simply can’t compete with those teams who are willing to substantially invest in the recruitment process, whether through the acquisition of higher-priced talent or by developing blue-chip prospects…our history suggests that we have struggled mightily when it comes to maximizing our available funds ever since Dein left the building, so we need to put the proper organizational structures in place which would allow us to create the English equivalent of a Dortmund or Ajax “hidden gem” recruitment model…if we don’t either replace the Dein role, which could be difficult considering his exceptionality, or place the necessary focus on the process by which we identify and recruit talent, we will continue our pattern of 2 steps forward, 4 back

    1. I agree with TRVL on Arsenal adopting the Dortmund and Ajax model.
      Ben Cottrell exemplifies the talent in Arsenal’s U23’s. There are a number of players, who should be loaned out to further their experience and then given opportunities at Arsenal or sold on at a profit. Arsenal cannot afford to waste home grown talent

  2. The quality is in the u18s but who is brave enough to see and then introduce the boys to the first team squad before letting them go on loan. MA/Edu will look elsewhere like Spain or Brazil.

  3. I don’t ever remember Liam Brady having power. He was even then being described as “cultured.” I have never seen this young kid player but would be excited if he could match Brady’s ball skills.

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