Boyhood Arsenal fan Trae Coyle signed a new deal with the club on Wednesday, representing yet another positive step for the player in 2019.
Coyle has been around the Arsenal u18s/u19s for a few years now, and in many ways, he started to become a victim of his own early success.
At just 15 years old, Coyle was already starting u18 league games, and he made his debut in the u19 UEFA Youth League in 2016. Expectations around the academy went through the roof, and quickly reached a level he was always going to struggle to reach.
Fast-forward a couple of years to 2018, and the winger had stalled a bit. He only managed a few goal contributions for the first half of the 2018/19 season, and it seemed like other players were starting to overtake him.
Thankfully, that’s when Coyle started to turn things around. From February onwards he managed more goals and assists (11) than games played (10).
He had plenty of eye-catching moments in the u18s’ title run-in, from swerving free-kicks to inch-perfect chipped through balls:
Suddenly, Coyle is starting to look like the player we all thought he’d be when he first broke through, and Arsenal have evidently taken note of that.
The task ahead of the 18-year-old is to do the same in the u23s next season. He clearly has the raw talent, and there’s no doubt he’s earned a contract extension, but there’s no time to take his foot off the gas.