Arsenal’s Academy Ace

Arsenal fans will be looking to build on another season of progress with the addition of a world-class striker who can perhaps lead them to the league title. But lurking in their famed academy at Hale End, there is a young star that is tearing up all the record books. Chido Obi-Martin has been turning heads in the Arsenal youth ranks all season.

The Origin Story

Born in 2007 in Glostrup, Denmark, the youngster joined the Arsenal academy from FC Copenhagen Youth in 2022. Arsenal came about their young starlet quite incidentally when Obi-Martin’s mother moved to London to study and pursue nursing. The rest, as they say, is history.

Copenhagen’s loss was Arsenal’s happy gain. He has gone on to become a regular in the youth setups all the way to the under-21 level. He even trained with the first team ahead of a European fixture, although he ultimately did not get the call for the game. The young man was blessed with great athleticism and standing at over 6ft, he is also a physically dominating player.

Obi’s exposure to various age groups has been intentional on Arsenal’s part so as to challenge the player. Mehmet Ali, Arsenal Under-21 head coach, was quoted as saying in The Athletic that “the reason we have a mixed programme is because we want him to have joy, confidence and success and find it easy at times, but also be challenged at others.”  So far, the youngster has taken everything in his stride.

Meteoric Rise

The striker scored an incredible 10 goals in a 14-3 win over Liverpool in the under-16 setup in November. He proved he could do it at the under-18 level as well, notching an earth-shattering 29 goals in 17 games, This included four goals each against Crystal Palace and Fulham, five against West Ham, and a whooping seven against Norwich. The results and performances have led to viral fame on the internet and caused growing speculation about what might be in a few years.

Talent like that has also attracted a lot of attention on the international scene. Although he currently represents Denmark, Obi-Martin is eligible to play for both Nigeria and England. In fact, he has even turned out twice for the English under-16 squad. Currently, he is with Denmark at the U17 Euros in Cyprus. He has made and immediate impact in the tournament, opening the scoring in his team’s 2-0 victory over Wales

What’s Next for the Wonderkid?

Chido still has to make the final and most challenging of leaps to first-team football, but he is at the right place to gain the tools to succeed. Although not as famous as the Ajax Academy, Clairefontaine, or La Masia, Hale End has produced its fair share of storied graduates. Bukayo Saka, Paul Merson, David O’Leary, Tony Adams, Ashley Cole, Jack Wishere, Cesc Fabregas and Liam Brady all stand as a testament to the solid foundations that can be developed at the academy. 

Arsenal fans, along with most fanbases, like nothing more than seeing one of their own come good. Even with the occasional rough patch, like those of Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith-Rowe, the goodwill for the home-grown boys never fades at the Emirates. Chido Obi-Martin is part of a new wave of graduates that will continue to push the club forward and we can only wish him the very best as his journey continues.

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