Brooke Norton-Cuffy shows Mikel Arteta exactly why Arsenal’s right-back decision was correct

Arsenal have decided not to pursue a player in the transfer market that will compete with either Takehiro Tomiyasu or Cedric Soares. understands that the club is happy with their options and that the pair are happy with their place in the squad.

Furthermore, Arsenal have a rising star to consider and the acquisition of a brand-new toy for the right-back role would have been to the detriment of opportunity for that very talent. Brooke Norton-Cuffy is gradually becoming a name that is difficult not to know about.

His forays for Lincoln City on loan have been furthered by his performances for England under 19s. It looks almost a playground for the 18-year-old whose position was very Joao Cancelo-esque as England battered Serbia 4-0. Although I must issue calm, the player is very far from a quality comparison to the Portuguese international.

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Deployed on the right-wing, he created some great chances for his teammates with one resulting in a goal. Despite some claims that he was awarded an assist, after greater inspection, the keeper fumbled a low-driven cross before Dane Scarlett tapped in an easy finish.

However, it was a move that earned Norton-Cuffy his sole key pass of the game when he made a run from the central part of the field into the penalty area to be played through before executing a great cross. The quality of the ball couldn’t be anticipated however as it fell agonisingly into the open space in the box.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy's central positioning for England before creating key pass opportunity.
Brooke Norton-Cuffy’s central positioning for England before creating key pass opportunity.

Watch enough clips of Norton-Cuffy and it becomes clear this style of play is not a one-off trick for the international stage. The teenager regularly charged through the central midfield drawing out defenders and opening spaces for his teammates.

It might be difficult to see this work in a right-back role for a back four for Arsenal without some exposure in behind, but should Arteta want an offensive-minded right-back he already has quite the starlet.

Pre-season will be the first opportunity for him to show what he is capable of. The under-21s have already returned for preseason training and once his responsibilities are done with England, he will expect to join them in due course.

The US tour is likely his best chance to show what he can do against the likes of Everton, Orlando City and Chelsea. Before the side returns to play Sevilla in the Emirates Cup just one week ahead of the new season.

Takehiro Tomiyasu is expected to return and be the club’s starting right-back ahead of the campaign, but with the League Cup and Europa League coming soon after the start of September, Norton-Cuffy will have a chance to battle with Cedric to earn some senior minutes.


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