Signed from Ajax in the summer, there are high hopes for the future of Donyell Malen.
Just a couple of years ago he was learning from Dennis Bergkamp in the Ajax academy, now the 16-year-old is playing on the same training pitches that his former coach used to grace.
“I think it has been a good six months,” the Dutchman said to Arsenal.com. “I have done well and I have settled down. I’m relaxed. It is a family club so I think that really helped. Everybody from the security guys to my team-mates have helped me. I knew the club quite well so it is not like the club is new for me.”
At the age of 16, his recent performances at u21 level have been impressive. A superbly taken goal against Brighton came in his first start at u21 level, and was soon followed by a goal in the FA Youth Cup defeat of West Brom.
Clearly, Malen is adapting well to his new surroundings.
“It is a different league. I’m strong enough for this league and I finding my way so it is hard. I think it is more physical and it is a different way. There are more tackles.
“In Holland we play a bit more possession while here it is more about scoring a goal. It is different but I can play both ways.”
Being able to play in a more physical league will be good for the forward’s development which, hopefully, he will continue in the game against Aston Villa on Monday afternoon.