Brooke Norton-Cuffy has made a positive start to his latest loan spell with Rotherham United, and he’s explained how the move came about.
After a really strong spell in League One with Lincoln City last season, Brooke Norton-Cuffy made the step up to the Championship with Rotherham United this summer.
The 18-year-old has instantly become a regular fixture of the side, playing 64 minutes on his League Cup debut before making three 90-minute Championship appearances in a row.
Speaking about the opportunity to earn further senior experience on loan this season, Norton-Cuffy said that was always his plan, and he held meetings with Per Mertesacker and Ben Knapper to try and make it a reality.
“I always knew that I was going to go back out on loan,” Norton-Cuffy told Goal. “I feel like u23s football (now u21s) is good, but I’ve already had a sniff of senior football and so I wasn’t going to shy away from that.
“I want to keep progressing and men’s football is a lot more challenging for me than U23s. So as soon as my spell was done with Lincoln, I knew I was going to go back out on loan.
“I sat down with the Arsenal staff. Per Mertesacker [Arsenal academy manager] is very involved in everything. My first meeting was with him and Ben Knapper [Arsenal’s loan manager].
“We sat down and I said I wanted to go back out on loan. So we started discussing clubs and trying to find the best fit for me.”
Norton-Cuffy’s agent confirmed there were seven Championship clubs involved in that process of trying to sign the player on loan, but Rotherham United ended up winning out.
The move made a lot of sense, allowing Norton-Cuffy to make a step up whilst also seemingly guaranteeing a lot of minutes – at least based on the early weeks of the season.
Arsenal have Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, and Cedric Soares competing for one right-back spot this season, so the teenager’s development was best served elsewhere.