Mikel Arteta believes that Daniel Crowley can be a huge asset for Arsenal in the future, having been impressed by his technical ability at such a young age.
The 17-year-old scored a brilliant free kick in Arsenal's 2-0 win over Reading in the U-18 FA Cup, taking his tally to 10 goals for the season. Crowley, who joined Arsenal from Aston Villa, signed his first professional contract in 2014 when he turned 17 and is touted to follow the likes of Cesc Fabregas to take the Arsenal midfield by storm.
The midfielder has been made the captain of the Arsenal U-18 setup and Arteta believes that it will give him a sense of responsibility, which is very important when shaping your career. Arteta, who is the captain of the first team, is currently out with a calf injury but should be back in action before the Champions League action resumes in February.
"He has impressed me for two reasons," Arteta told www.arsenal.com.
"The first is of course his talent, but also he is gaining maturity too, and if he keeps doing that then he can be a very good player.
"I'm glad they have given him the armband in the Youth Cup because that will give him more responsibility and he will need to be a real example to the other players. He's at the right club with the right people around him to guide him and to become a very important player," he added.
Arsenal have a world class academy with all the right talent to challenge the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester City to compensate for their lack of finances when compared to the big three.
The Gunners are also close to securing a deal with Legia Warsaw for Krystian Bielik, heralded as one of the best midfield talents to come out of Poland.
Arteta believes that these players have the talent to make it big at the top level but has urged them to toughen up mentally to keep up with the changing pace.
"He's definitely got the talent, and if you put that together with mental strength and the willingness to work hard, then you've got a great chance. That's what he needs to do," Arteta stressed.
"If you had asked me a few months ago if he was heading in the right direction, I wouldn't have been able to give you a certain answer. But now I can say I really like the way he has matured and grown up lately," he concluded.