by Lewis Ambrose
If you were anywhere near a TV or the internet on Sunday you’ve heard the name by now but who is he?
Here at Daily Cannon we revealed that Arsenal would be signing the 17 year-old back in May but Arsenal fans finally got the chance to see him in action over the weekend.
Arsenal captured the signature of Reine-Adelaide and Yassin Fortune from RC Lens for a combined €4M as the summer began but nobody expected either of them to make any impact quite so soon. The two young players are yet to play a professional game.
Reine-Adelaide will not even be 18 until January and hasn’t represented France above u17 level. Back in May the midfielder featured at the u17 European Championships, which France went on to win yet he didn’t once complete the full game. He only started five of the seven games and was booked in the final, which saw France win 4-1 against Germany.
Upon joining Arsenal the player was described by Arsène Wenger in a way that reminded us of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, another winger who joined at the age of 17.
“Adelaide is a player I have identified in France. He just won the European Championship with the under-17s,” said Wenger. “He’s an offensive player but he can develop into an all-round midfielder as well. At the moment, he plays on the right or left but I think he can develop as a central midfielder as well.”
Reine-Adelaide is already six feet tall and his frame could certainly lend itself to playing centrally. He has the close control and, based on Sunday’s game, seemingly has the awareness to play anywhere in midfield given enough time and guidance.
The 6-0 Emirates Cup win over Lyon saw a tidy cameo from the Frenchman which drew praise from 5Wenger.
“Reine-Adelaide is something special you know,” the Arsenal manager said on Saturday evening. “He is a great talent and when he came on you could see that — 17 years old let’s not forget that.”
Almost as if to prove a point Wenger gave Reine-Adelaide his first Arsenal start just 24 hours later and he impressed pretty much everyone. Quick feet and some composure on the ball certainly caught the eye, with Kevin de Bruyne left wanting at one stage in the first half.
Reine-Adelaide certainly boasts confidence and went on to assist the only goal of the game, putting Theo Walcott through on goal just after the break.
Arsenal seem to have found a gem but don’t expect to see too much of him in the near future. Reine-Adelaide will stay at the club this season, Arsène Wenger confirmed on Sunday, but is unlikely to feature in the first team too often with Alexis Sánchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere all options out wide.
He’s incredibly unlikely to get must first-team football in the immediate future but if Reine-Adelaide’s first Arsenal start is anything to go by he will be a thrill to watch in the coming years.