Theo Walcott has hailed Jeff Reine-Adelaide’s potential after the teenager’s impressive pre-season performances in the Emirates Cup.
Reine-Adelaide caught the eye with his clever footwork during a substitute appearance against Lyon, and he assisted Walcott’s winner against Wolfsburg on his first start for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger confirmed the 17-year-old will continue to train with the first team this season and Walcott believes Arsenal is the perfect place for Reine-Adelaide to develop.
"He’s still got a lot to learn but he’s at the best club to do that with the best manager as well"
“For 17 he’s confident on the ball and he wants to express himself as well, which is important,” Walcott told Arsenal Player. “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.
“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.”
Walcott was a similar age to Reine-Adelaide when he broke into the Arsenal first team, and he has offered some advice to the teenager.
“I was completely starstruck when I first came here, so he may be in the same boat as well,” said Walcott. “It’s always quite surreal when you walk into the dressing room and you’re training with guys that you use to play as on FIFA.
“It may take a while just to get used to that but when he plays games he’ll forget about that because he knows he’s good enough to be here. That’s why he’s been given the opportunity to play and if he gets that in his head, he will go far.”
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