Arsenal starlet Dan Crowley continued to enhance his burgeoning reputation by scoring a sensational hat-trick against Anderlecht in the Under-19 Champions League this week.
The 17-year-old, who was picked up by the Gunners from Aston Villa’s youth academy last year, scored three high quality goals and will have caught the eye of first-team manager Arsene Wenger. However, despite his best efforts, the youngster was powerless to prevent his side slumping to a 4-3 defeat against the Belgian outfit.
Crowley turned professional this year
Crowley put pen to paper on his first professional contract at the Emirates Stadium in August, a day after he turned 17. The talented teenager, who was tipped for big things by England manager Roy Hodgson earlier this year, has even been compared to Arsenal star Jack Wilshere, who made his debut for the Gunners aged 16 years 256 days.
And on the evidence of this stunning performance against Anderlecht - which can either be seen at the bottom of this page, or HERE - Wilshere better start looking over his shoulder.
Crowley showcases his class
Crowley produced a masterclass against Anderlecht, showcasing his fantastic technique, dribbling ability, intelligence, range of passing and finishing. It was the complete performance and he certainly didn’t deserve to be on the losing side.
What’s clear is that Aston Villa have lost a diamond. Crowley, who played for Villa’s Under-16 side at the tender age of 12, appears to possess all the tools to become a first-team regular at Arsenal in the near future.
Wilshere hails Crowley
Wenger spent almost £1 million to bring the playmaker to north London last year, which could prove to be one of the best deals of his Arsenal tenure. The French coach, who turns 65 today, has an impressive track record of bringing through talented young footballers and helping them fulfil their potential.
The player Crowley is often compared to, Wilshere, urged his Twitter followers to keep a close eye on the young gem in October 2013, posting: “Everybody follow @danielcrowley24 trust me when I say this kid is a player! Big future….”
Video: Dan Crowley v Anderlecht
A few more eye-catching performances like this and we could be seeing him in the Premier League, sooner rather than later.