Arsenal officially unveiled Cohen Bramall on Tuesday, a signing that represents a long-term investment in a rough diamond.
READ MORE: How Bramall’s agent landed his Arsenal move
The 20-year-old fullback, who had been linked with a move to professional football before a successful trial at London Colney, is another success story which is sure to give plenty of non-league players confidence that they can one day achieve their dreams of becoming a professional, regardless of the league they play in or their age.
Arsène Wenger has not shied away in talking about the 20-year-old, having praised his level of fitness and impressive acceleration when originally asked about the player himself.
Now that he has been announced as Arsenal’s first January acquisition for a reported £40,000 from Hednesford Town, the boss was asked further questions about his latest arrival.
As quoted by the club’s official website he said, “You need scouts to [scout] in the lower divisions because many of them have to go down before they come up [the leagues], he’s overall a very exciting prospect. I believe that when you go down, there’s mental selection. It’s a mental test – do you love football enough?
“Are you ready enough to fight [to show] that you are above this level and that you absolutely want to come back? Players like Giroud and Koscielny have had that test. They are similar to that. Once they get up, they really mean it.”
Both Olivier Giroud (Grenoble and Tours) and Laurent Koscielny (Tours) were both playing their football for clubs in Ligue 2, France’s second division, before impressing enough to warrant a step-up and earn more exposure as a result.
It came as a massive surprise that Arsenal were even interested in the left-back, but Wenger’s praise is sure to have plenty of supporters interested in Bramall’s development.
“[Bramall] is a young, promising left back who has a lack of experience at the top level but who has fantastic ingredients,” Wenger explained. “He has tremendous pace, a good left foot, a great desire to do well. Overall, he’s a very exciting prospect.”