Jeff Reine-Adelaide put in another mature performance in the FA Cup, this time against Southampton during Arsenal’s emphatic 5-0 victory at St Mary’s.
This was the 19-year-old’s seventh appearance with the Arsenal first team – fifth this season – and it’s easy to see why Arsene Wenger keeps giving him the chance to prove himself alongside the big boys.
The lanky, graceful midfielder reminds me a bit of Abou Diaby, which is both exciting and nerve-racking.
Against Southampton, he made 42 passes, 38 of which were accurate, and took 60 touches. He also won two aerial duels and a tackle.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jeff all seemed to gel effortlessly against the Saints, passing and moving quicker than Southampton could turn. It was fluid, attractive Wenger-ball, while being effective.
Although I doubt we’ll see any starts for Jeff in the Premier League unless injuries force Wenger’s hand, we’ll definitely be seeing more of him in the future. With Arsenal still in the FA Cup, there’ll be at least another opportunity to show why he should get the nod more often. He’s an intelligent, graceful footballer who I look forward to watching develop even further.
Who knows? Perhaps next season he’ll be the next breakthrough player.