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Arsenal’s Hale End hero is addicted to scoring goals & is ready made for the first-team

Arsenal’s Hale End hero is addicted to scoring goals & is ready made for the first-team

In an era of normalising inflated fees and an obsession with ‘winning the transfer window’, it’s become mightily refreshing to see top clubs putting trust in their brightest young talent.

Arsenal’s recent resurgence in the Mikel Arteta era has been founded on a more sensible approach, and while they have been able to spend big to build what many now consider one of the best teams in Europe, they’ve achieved that by giving youth a chance.

The Gunners’ most high-profile and most costly signings have been young ballers looking to make the next step, but what has stood out most is the consistent success of the Hale End talent factory, which has provided the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli in recent times and shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, Hale End might just have peaked with their latest gem. Chido Obi has made headlines once already this season, but between the homework, he continues to steal them on a near-weekly basis for his performances at youth level for the Gunners.

We gave you the lowdown on Obi back in March of this year, the 16-year-old making waves for an outrageous 10-goal haul against Liverpool earlier this season and continuing to dazzle at an age group above him.

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His lofty progress since then, however, has us feeling nauseous. Nauseous and extremely talentless, to the point where we’re questioning if it’s worth the endless stretching and subsequent three days of pain after a kick around at five-a-side this week when teenagers like Obi exist.

A genetic freak who would leave Scott Steiner lost for words, the Danish forward has made a habit out of doing the unthinkable and smashing the conventions of the game, putting up numbers this season that simply shouldn’t be possible, all while looking every part ready to take on senior football.

Sixteen, by the way. Younger than YouTube. Makes you sick.

Because Chido Obi is so outrageously talented and bagging 10 goals in one game isn’t enough of a freakish feat this season, he’s gone and done it again – sort of – by making poor Norwich under-18s the latest victims of his sheer, unbridled sorcery.

Arsenal under-18 ran riot away from home in a 9-0 win against the young Canaries over the weekend, Chido Obi scoring seven of those nine goals. Seven. Not even a Peep Show-esque naan bread joke can do that haul justice.

Already exceptionally tall for his age, Chido Obi carries the ball with a languid elegance. Nothing ever looks like too much effort for him when it comes to attacking the opposition’s goal.

We’d compare his nonchalant approach to ball carrying, attacking the space and finishing to Dimitar Berbatov, but considering this is all about an Arsenal wonderkid, we’ll refrain.

Thankfully, there are also shades of Henry, purely with how calm and collected he is after being slipped through on goal. It’s also frightening how consistently lethal his positioning is, timing his darts between the lines and beyond the defenders to perfection.

People will be quick to point out the level of opposition in comparison to a Premier League defence, but this is a 16-year-old we’re talking about. A 16-year-old who doesn’t turn 17 until November, who is already making players two years his senior look like fools – time and time again.

28 goals from 16 under-18 Premier League games this season cannot be ignored. If anything, Chido Obi’s latest obscenity is further proof that he continues to bang mercilessly on Mikel Arteta’s door as Arsenal look to develop their next crop of young talents.

The Gunners are said to be looking for a more ruthless striker in the transfer market this summer. That signing could and probably should still be made, but perhaps experience is the way to go, while simultaneously blooding Chido Obi into the squad from next season.

 By Mitch Wilks

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