Mikel Arteta adds Arsenal wonderkid Matt Smith to first-team training ahead of season restartby Alex Milne
Arsenal youngster Matt Smith joined the first-team training session on Tuesday as manager Mikel Arteta continues to ease the talented 19-year-old into the fold.
Smith is yet to appear in a senior squad for the Gunners, but he has regularly joined in training sessions since Arteta replaced Unai Emery in December.
The midfielder is said to be one of the most exciting young talents in the academy, and he has impressed for the U23 side this year with a number of eye-catching performances.
With hopes the Premier League will resume in June, Smith may get his chance to impress in the coming months, especially if fixture congestion sees the need for Arteta to rotate his team.
As reported via Football.London, Gunners coaches have described Smith as "a composed midfielder with an eye for a pass" and someone who "typically looks to operate as a deep-lying playmaker, tasked with controlling the tempo of games and picking out runners in the final third".
He signed his first professional contract with the club last year, and at the time said: "It’s an amazing feeling. Arsenal is a massive club and I’ve supported it my whole life. I’ve been here since I was seven, so this is a really proud moment."
Smith was nominated for the PL2 Player of the Month award in January and it appears only a matter of time before the makes the step up to senior level.
The Gunners are continuing to train in small groups at London Colney as they await permission from the Premier League to move from Phase One to Phase Two of Project Restart.
A boost to Arteta was the surprise return of Calum Chambers to training on Tuesday, with the defender seemingly ahead of schedule in his recovery from the serious knee injury he sustained against Chelsea in December.