Teenage goalkeeper Alexei Rojas Fedorushchenko has spoken of his delight after being promoted to first-team training by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, talking to the Spanish edition of CNN.
With a handful of senior stars unavailable through injury or international commitments, Arteta seized the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the brightest young talent in Arsenal’s U18 ranks last week.
It’s understood the likes of Bradley Ibrahim, Henry Timi Davies and Jimi Gower, son of former Swansea City midfielder Mark, were all given a chance to catch the Arsenal manager’s eye.
So too was 16-year-old Alexei Rojas Fedorushchenko, a goalkeeper born in Basildon to Colombian and Russian parents – as you may have guessed by his unmistakably multinational name.
Can Fedorushchenko become an Arsenal star?
“On Monday, my coach called my father and told him Mikel Arteta had decided to invite me to train with the first squad,” said Fedorushchenko, the Hale End starlet who had a spell at Chelsea before moving to north London.
“I arrived on Tuesday to train with them and I spoke in Spanish with Mikel and he gave me very good comments.
“For me, it was something different, having gone to train with the first team. I was going to show Mikel and the club why, one day, I am going to be the starting goalkeeper of Arsenal FC.”
Fedorushchenko clearly doesn’t lack confidence and he’ll need that rock-solid self-belief as he looks to make a name for himself at a club boasting an array of exciting shot-stoppers throughout the age groups, from Aaron Ramsdale to Karl Hein.
Fedorushchenko has already featured for England U15s but, after being called up by Colombia recently, the youngster is in no doubts what his future will hold at international level.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity the Colombia team has given me. They have given me the best opportunity and that is why I am with Colombia,” he adds.
“I have attended the England squads but I am with Colombia. I feel Colombian, and I only think of the Colombia team.”
In other news, Player has responded to Arsenal’s £161,000-a-week offer