Theo Walcott hails 'very talented' Arsenal starlet Jeff Reine-Adelaide

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Theo Walcott has tipped Arsenal startlet Jeff Reine-Adelaide to have a big future at the club following his impressive performance in the Emirates Cup.

The 17-year-old produced a fine display against Wolfsburg, assisting Walcott's goal in the 1-0 win.

Having come through the academy at French club Lens, Reine-Adelaide joined Arsenal in May, along with 16-year-old Yassin Fortune, and has been told by Arsene Wenger he will train with the first-team this season.


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Walcott, who was a similar age when he first broke into the Arsenal team following his move from Southampton in 2006 and was even a surprise inclusion to the 2006 England World Cup squad, despite not playing a game, believes he has a big future ahead of him.

Speaking to the clubs official website, he said: “For 17 he’s confident on the ball and he wants to express himself as well, which is important. It’s always nice to see a young player not be shy on the ball. Even if he makes a mistake he wants it again, which is a good sign.

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"Getting that assist at the weekend just shows he’s got that touch in the final third where it matters most, and he’s got a good physical presence about him. The most important thing is not to put too much pressure on the young guy’s shoulders.

“He’s still got a lot to learn but he’s at the best club to do that with the best manager as well. He’s definitely got some skills and he’s very talented, I've got to admit."

Arsenal fans had to wait some time to see the 17-year-old in action as he was a late withdrawal from the club's pre-season tour of Asia. It was well worth the wait however, as he was one of a number of Arsenal youngsters to impress during the pre-season tournament, along with Alex Iwobi and Chuba Akpom.

Reine-Adelaide has represented France at under-16 and under-17 level and was an unused substitute for Lens in April as they lost 3-1 to Metz. He has come through an academy that produced the likes of Raphael Varane and Geoffrey Kondogbia in recent years.

With all the attributes he possess' at such a tender age the 2015-16 campaign could be a major breakthrough season for Reine-Adelaide.

An appearance in the Community Shield on Sunday is probably beyond his reach, but stranger things have happened in football. However, excitement is growing around Arsenal that he could be the next youngster to light up the Emirates turf.


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Theo Walcott
Premier League

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