Arsenal clearly have a very strong youth and scouting system in place as is evident with their recent success in bringing through quality young players. The likes of Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere have all come through the academy and gone on to great things with plenty more to follow.
This season for instance saw Arsenal make it to the semi-finals of the NextGen Series; Europe’s premier youth competition.
So when one graduate of the academy system highlights the talents of a current student it is only natural to take notice.
Well take notice we did after Jack Wilshere posted this Tweet up on Thursday afternoon:
The player he was referring to is Alfred Mugabo-Martin; better known as ‘Abs’ at the club.
So what can we tell you about him? And why is Wilshere such a fan?
Well this year has been the talented midfielders first in the under-18’s and he has impressed in his debut season. Born in October 1995 he is just 17-years-old so is truly one for the future but to catch the eye of Wilshere he must have something about his game.
He was actually born in Kanombe a district of the Rwandan capital of Kigali just a year after the horrific atrocities of the Hutu-led genocide in 1994. He left the country aged two but still has some family in the country.
He went on to represent Rwanda at the FIFA under-17 World Cup in 2011 despite being just 15-years-old and is described as ‘strong’ and ‘adaptable’ as well as ‘no-nonsense’ on the official Arsenal website.
He certainly looks the part. Already standing six feet tall once he fills out he will be a mean presence for any opposing player. Capable of playing in multiple positions including right and centre back his favoured position is in the heart of midfield; just in front of the defence.
He cites Xavi as a major influence, is also a talented basketball player and if he could eat a meal every day it would be a Nando’s but with the support of players like Jack Wilshere we might just be talking about more than his personal preferences in the not so distant future.
Have you seen Mugabo-Martin play? Can he make it to the top?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald