Trae Coyle made his first senior appearance in the Arsenal friendly match against Brentford on Wednesday, as Mikel Arteta’s squad prepare for Manchester City.
Trae Coyle is one of a few academy players to feature in the current pre-season-style training sessions with the senior squad. Matt Smith, Zech Medley and Zak Swanson also all take part in the training sessions, but none of the four played against Charlton.
It was nice to see Coyle get a brief chance to show his skills against Brentford, as a result. It was only for the final five or so minutes, with the winger replacing Reiss Nelson, but it’s the first step towards senior football for the u23 star.
Coyle started his recent run towards the first team with an impressive season for the u18s last season. He made 14 league appearances as the team won the u18 Premier League south, scoring eight goals and assisting six.
He stepped up to the u23s permanently this season, having previously made sporadic appearances at that level. Mostly playing at right-wing, he scored twice and assisted three times in 15 PL2 outings.
At his best, Coyle is a tricky wide player who can finish chances with either foot (though he prefers his right) and links up with teammates well. He can also take a decent free-kick, getting a couple of goals from them.
The 19-year-old had an unfortunate habit of taking on too many shots from distance this season, and he also sometimes dribbles into trouble. But when he finds form, he’s a big part of the u23 attack.
Clearly he’s making an impression on Arteta, so maybe he’ll get a chance to make his competitive debut sometime soon.