Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes new signing Cohen Bramall will progress into the first team within month of moving to The Emirates Stadium. The 20-year-old has joined from Northern League Premier Division side Hednesford Town as a young professional and will initially train with the Under-23s – but big things are expected
The move to the former Premier League champions caps a rags-to-riches rise for Bramall, who was made redundant from a Crewe car factory three weeks ago, while playing in the seventh tier of English football. He becomes the latest player to complete the move from non-league to the top flight, following in the footsteps of Jamie Vardy.
Bramall was spotted while playing for Sheffield Wednesday's Under-23s before Christmas by Arsenal scout Brian McDermott. He was invited for a trial with the club and trained with the senior squad ahead of the Boxing Day clash with West Bromwich Albion. Wenger was immediately impressed and sanctioned a £40,000 (€46,000) move for the youngster, who will earn £3,000-a-week in a deal running until 2019 (according to The Daily Telegraph).
Wenger's tenure at Arsenal is littered with playing being promoted from the club's academy directly into the first team, with Ashley Cole and Jack Wilshere among those to progress into the senior ranks before going on to represent England. And the French boss believes Bramall will become the latest player to make the step up.
"He will start with the under-23s," Wenger, who has compared full-back Bramall to Cole, told Arsenal Player. "First [he has] to show at youth level that he can quickly make the first team. Overall I believe he has fantastic physical qualities, he has a good level of motivation because he has gone down and come up again. [He has] to prepare, to challenge the first-team players as quickly as he can. That could be in a very short period of time.
"He has the ingredients: the timing of his runs is very good, he has decent technique and exceptional pace. These are very important ingredients today. He was an athlete before and he came late to the game and that's why I believe in him. Can he manage the tactical aspect and the technical aspect? Physically, he will be top level."