The talented young French midfielder only joined Arsenal in the summer but Jeff Reine-Adelaide has already made a name for himself with the Arsenal fans. The 17-year old impressed in both of his appearances during the Emirates Cup and he even helped us win the trophy by providing the assist for Theo Walcott to score the winner against the German club Wolfsburg.
Since then the young Frenchman has been playing for the academy in the under 21 league and has established himself as one of the group of young Gunners, along with the likes of Iwobi and Willock, that are seen as the most likely to be the next to break into the first team.
With the third round of the FA cup coming up these youngsters will be hoping for a place in the squad and a possible appearance against Sunderland in front of the Emirates crowd on Saturday. And with the perfect timing needced to be a goal scoring midfielder for the Gunners, Reine-Adelaide has given himself the best chance and the manager Arsene Wenger the perfect reminder of what he can do by scoring a very good couple of goals in the last academy game, a 3-2 win over Blackburn Rovers.
I may be reading too much into this, but the fact that the Arsenal website have published an interview with Reine-Adelaide suggests that he might well be set for a place in the Arsenal FA cup squad. In it he explained how happy he was that Arsenal came in for him last summer and his determination to make the most of his chances.
He said, “Lens had followed me for a while. They came to supervise me in a district tournament where I was voted best player on the pitch.
“They came to my house to discuss things with my parents. Everything went really quick [after that]. Lens were in Ligue 1 and had a bit of a financial problem. They didn’t have enough players to be competitive.
“We were in the bottom three for most of the season and didn’t manage to save the club from relegation. I was lucky Arsenal came [in for me]. I could have been a Ligue 2 player in France. I’m so grateful to be here.
“I was happy – very happy actually. The fans seemed to be happy too. In fact, everyone was happy for me, including the coach and that is important. Of course it was a strange feeling, the media talks only about superstars.
“I was very surprised but of course happy. My parents told me I have not done anything yet – they told me to keep my feet on the ground and that I should keep working hard.
“I think I need to improve every single day when I train, show that I’m focused and concentrating and show that I want to succeed. I need to show I will never give up, then, if one day I get my chance, it is my duty to show the coach to put his trust in me. Then I will fight to regularly be in the first team.”
Will he get that chance this weekend?