Kido Taylor-Hart had an eventful first start for the u23s on Friday amid the current speculation around his future with Arsenal.
There’s been some speculation around the future of Arsenal winger Kido Taylor-Hart in recent months, with a number of clubs following him domestically and abroad. The 18-year-old still doesn’t have a professional contract, after missing much of last season with injury.
Taylor-Hart is still playing regularly for the academy, despite that uncertainty. He has four goals and three assists in seven games for the u18s this season, as well as an assist in his only u21 appearance of the campaign.
He had to wait until Friday for his first career u23 start, but he made it count against Derby County.
Within 13 minutes, the teenager won a penalty for his team, racing in behind the defence onto a Ben Cottrell through ball and going down under a heavy challenge. Cottrell converted the spot-kick for 1-0.
Taylor-Hart then gave away a penalty at the other end, showing a little too much eagerness to try and get in a challenge from the wrong side of his man. Fortunately, Arthur Okonkwo saved it.
After that, the remainder of the match was very positive for the player. The way he drove at the Derby defence was constantly threatening, and it brought him a number of good chances.
Eventually, he got his goal, finding space in the box and cutting in before curling a shot into the far corner. The effort took a slight deflection, but it was the least he deserved for his performance on the night.
It was another display to underline just why so many clubs are interested in Taylor-Hart at the moment. Hopefully, Arsenal can give him the chances to convince him the best option is to sign a professional contract and stay.