With two months on loan at Paolo Di Canio's Swindon last season, Daniel Boateng has a good base from which to continue his progression next term.
The 19-year-old defender may have only started two matches at the County Ground, but ultimately his experiences in the Football League should prove invaluable.
Not only that, but Daniel was also able to sample his finest moment to date - an Arsenal first-team debut. It may have been brief - just over six minutes in fact - but when the powerful centre back replaced Thomas Vermaelen late on in the Gunners' Carling Cup victory over Bolton, a dream was fulfilled.
"As an Arsenal fan, it does not get better than that," he admitted. "The boss told me to just play my game and I slotted in alongside Sebastien Squillaci, who I have played with in the reserves and in training, so I was familiar with his game and he with mine and it was comfortable.
"I know it was only for 10 minutes or so but it was the best experience of my football career, which has given me the desire to feel it again and again.”
Daniel often held the captain's armband in the reserves last season, making 14 appearances for Neil Banfield's second string. Should he continue his development, that solitary first-team appearance may well multiply.
“I only started two games [at Swindon], which was not ideal, but being around the first team and a group of players going for a league title was a very good experience. League Two was ideal preparation for me as a centre back in developing my aerial play and the physical side of my game."
What more could any young professional ask for than a first-team Arsenal debut? That's just what Daniel got against Bolton at Emirates Stadium in September.
|League Two (Swindon)||2||-|
|Premier Reserve League||13+1||-|