Mikel Arteta thinks Tyreece John-Jules is a complete player who needs exposing to the world outside the comfortable environment at Arsenal.
Tyreece John-Jules joined Lincoln City on loan this week, until the end of the season. He was slowly closing in on a senior debut with Arsenal, making the bench against Chelsea and Leeds United under Mikel Arteta, but now has the chance for regular first-team football.
Arteta admits John-Jules really was in contention for gametime this week. The new Arsenal head coach likes what he sees from the striker behind-the-scenes.
“I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen of him in training. I really like him,” Arteta said. “For the last minutes the other day (against Leeds) he was a perfect fit. We ended up making a different decision, but I considered it.
“I asked him to be on the bench for that day because I really believe that he can have an impact on the pitch.
“He needs to go and prove himself now. He needs to challenge himself, he’s probably in a very comfortable environment here but he needs to get exposed. After that, we will see where he is.”
Those who watch the u23s know John-Jules doesn’t only play up front. He played out wide a lot last season to accommodate Eddie Nketiah, and at number 10 this campaign alongside Folarin Balogun.
Arteta thinks John-Jules’ well-rounded game gives him the ability to play different roles.
“He can do everything, he links really well on the ball every time he’s out of the number nine position,” Arteta continued. “He’s got a really good ability to do that. He reads situations earlier than others and he’s a good finisher as well.
“Physically he’s developed in a really good shape, so I think he’s a very complete player.”
Lincoln have a busy schedule, with 20 games to play in League One from today until the end of the season. Sitting in 16th, they could use the help from a talented young player like John-Jules.
It’s up to the 18-year-old to help push them well clear of the relegation zone and grab as many goals as he can along the way.