Jeff Reine-Adelaide promoted to first team

Jeff Reine-Adelaide promoted to first team

Jeff Reine-Adelaide

Arsene Wenger has promoted Jeff Reine-Adelaide to the Arsenal first-team squad, with the French midfielder widely tipped as the next youngster in line for a breakthrough at the club.

Reine-Adelaide, 18, has yet to make a Premier League appearance but played in two FA Cup games last term and was given extended playing time in this summer’s preseason matches.

He impressed at times in a playmaker role, combining well with fellow academy products Alex Iwobi — who broke into the first team last season — and striker Chuba Akpom.

And Wenger has rewarded the attacking midfielder with a place in his first-team squad, with Reine-Adelaide being given the No. 31 shirt.

Reine-Adelaide had been wearing Mathieu Flamini’s old No. 20 jersey in training at the start of preseason, raising speculation that a promotion was coming.

Reine-Adelaide joined the Gunners academy from Lens last summer, with Wenger having described him as “something special.”

And fellow Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is among those who think the youngster has a very bright future.

“I think one thing that strikes everyone [about Jeff] is his confidence,” Wilshere told Arsenal’s official website. “Last year when he played in the Emirates Cup, he was only 17 years old and he wasn’t afraid to get the ball down, take players on and play.

“I think the year in the under-21s has really helped him and he is ready to make that step up.”

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