It may not be the most glamorous signing of the transfer window, but Arsenal could be about to make one of the more surprising additions we will see this month. According to football.london, the Gunners are on the verge of signing Hednesford Town defender Cohen Bramall, in what will be their first piece of business of the winter window.
Bramall, a left-back by trade, has impressed Arsene Wenger during trial period with the club at their London Colney facilities and has been training with the Gunners since Christmas. It is suggested the 20-year-old will sign a two-year contract with the club in the coming days. But what do we know about him?
Cohen Bramall: His career so far
Hednesford Town currently ply their trade in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, the seventh tier of English football. Bramall's sporting focus as a youngster was primarily on track and field with the Crewe and Nantwich Athletics Club before playing for Kidsgrove Athletic and Alsager Town during the 2013-14 season,
According to Hednesford Town's website, Bramall failed to earn a move to Leek Town after a trial at the start of the 2014-15 season, before being picked up by Nantwich Town. In October 2014, he joined Market Drayton but failed to get first-team chances, moving onto Evo-Stik Division One South side Newcastle Town.
A bright spell there earned him a move back to Market Drayton, where his reputation in local football continues to flourish. Last summer, Hednesford town boss Liam McDonald signed up the full-back. That astute decision could now earn the club £40,000.
What is Cohen Bramall's playing style?
Wenger has been impressed with Bramall's speed and athleticism. A quick look at a few of his Youtube show reels suggest Bramall has the engine to effortlessly get up and down the left flank thanks to his background in athletics. His technical ability also looks promising, epitomised by one sumptuous assist via a Rabona flick from out on the wing in September.
Will Cohen Bramall get near the first team anytime soon?
Bramall will join Arsenal's Under-23s, where 18-year-old Marc Bola is the current regular at left-back. Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs are Arsenal's current senior options in that position, but uncertainty over the futures of those two could leave the door open for someone like Bramall to step up.
While Monreal has established himself as Arsenal's top choice in that position, he appears open to the idea of returning to former club Athletic Bilbao before retiring, explaining to the Basque media last November he is "keeping his options open".
Gibbs, meanwhile, has been linked with a move away from The Emirates. His current deal with the Premier League club expires in the summer of 2018 but, according to The Mirror, the club have still not opened talks over a new contract.