Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Florida-born Zak Swanson is the latest Arsenal youngster to be handed the opportunity to prove himself alongside Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad, according to Football London.

As you might expect from a man who cut his coaching teeth under a man who turned a Barcelona team full of La Masia graduates into the dominant force of European football, Arteta has plenty of faith when it comes to the next generation.

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah and co have been some of the first names on his team-sheet since a former Gunners captain returned to the Emirates as head coach in December.

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And with ‘Project Re-start’ getting the go-ahead, the likes of Matthew Smith, Zech Medley and Trae Coyle could all make their Premier League bows sooner rather than later.

The same can now be said of Swanson, who has joined the aforementioned trio in training with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and co in recent days.

The 19-year-old is a real Swiss army knife of a footballer, capable of playing all across the defence. He can fill in at right-back or left-back, which will come in handy given that Arsenal have struggled with injuries on the flanks all season long.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Swanson has been at the North London giants since the age of six and was handed his first ever professional contract in April 2019.

“Zak was very impressive and he has been all season in all fairness. I think he’s been one of our top two players for the whole of the season,” youth coach Steve Bould told the Arsenal website recently after Swanson stood out against Leroy Sane in an U23 clash Manchester City.

It’s fair to say, then, that the youngster has already proven himself against one of the best wingers in European football.

Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

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