Youngster Josh Robinson has admitted that Everton and Queens Park Rangers ‘were interested’ before he signed for Premier League giants Arsenal, while speaking to the Gunners’ official website.
With Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe now two of the first names on Mikel Arteta’s team-sheet, and with Arthur Okonkwo, Charlie Patino and Folarin Balogun training regularly with the senior squad, Robinson will not be short of inspiration as he looks to become the latest exciting young talent to graduate from the infamous Hale End.
An England U18 international, the teenager describes himself as a ‘very defensive minded’ player, someone who ‘loves to defend’ and feels equally comfortable at centre-half or at left-back.
Robinson’s versatility will do his hopes of a future first-team role under Mikel Arteta no harm at all.
The one-time Crystal Palace trialist is taking things slow, however, determined to relish every second of his journey in one of Europe’s most prosperous academy set-ups.
Did Josh Robinson make the right choice with Arsenal?
“I was (at a development centre) for about six months and that’s when I was asked if I wanted to trial for Arsenal. Of course my answer was yes!,” Robinson explained, detailing his rather circular route to North London.
“It didn’t go to plan at first. (Arsenal) rejected me, so I went back to the development centre and carried on playing and working hard until Crystal Palace asked me to go on trial.
“I played with them for a little while and teams like QPR and Everton were interested, but when Arsenal invited me for another trial, I had to take it. They liked me, signed me up and I’ve been here ever since!
“That feeling of knowing Arsenal wanted me was amazing. I had my first full season at under-12s and I remember being so excited because I had this incredible opportunity right in front of me. Going to Hale End for the first time was so cool.
“I was really nervous because Arsenal is obviously such a big place with so many big names who have represented the club, but I just had to tell myself to relax, take on the pressure and enjoy it.”
Now a regular fixture in Arsenal’s youth sides, Robinson has played in five of the club’s six Premier League U18 games this season.