It has been widely publicised that Arsenal have offered a contract to the 19 year-old Rwandan-born winger George Lewis, but Jonothan Hill, his old boss at Norwegian side Tromsdalen, seems to be at a loss to understand why the Gunners think he will be a success in the Premier League, after failing to impress in the lower leagues in Norway.
Lewis did start his career at Tromso, but was swiftly moved to Tromsladen, who are in the third Tier in Norway, and then apparently decided to move to the UK to train with with the mighty Solihull United. But despite that he remained a free agent and somehow got a trial with Arsenal. “It’s been in the news over here about Arsenal but no-one really gave it much attention at first.” Hill said.
“I’m delighted for George, but I’m also a little surprised. He’s nearly 20 and never been near the national teams and it’s not like he’s gone off the radar here during his development.
“So it has come as a surprise, but hopefully he can do well over there if it happens.”
“He’s got some really outstanding qualities, but he’s also raw. If this happens, it’s brilliant because he does have some talent.
“He’s very quick and direct. He likes a stepover and has a range of tricks. He can beat a player – whether he can beat a Premier League full-back though is a different thing.”
“I’m a little shocked but can understand why George would impress coaches at Arsenal’s level,”
“Why I’m surprised is that you have to look at why he’s not made it in Norway, which is the 26th ranked country in Europe and no-one else has taken him apart from me – who saw something in him.”
“I really wish him well. He’s a really nice guy and this could be the thing that gets him going.”
The reason this man’s opinion is so important is because Hill is probably the only coach in football that has seen some talent in Lewis, and he obviously sounds worried that the Premier League may be a bit far out of Lewis’ reach, given his previous history.
Anyway, I think that whether the youngster is an uncut gem or not remains to be seen, but this discouraging opinion from his old boss doesn’t sound very positive to me…