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Journalist shares Arsenal academy player Arteta considered to be next big thing

Chris Wheatley has claimed in a video on his YouTube channel that he was told last year that Mikel Arteta deems Catalin Cirjan to be the next big thing to come out of the Arsenal academy.

The Gunners appear to have so many exciting prospects coming through. It looks to be a matter of time before Charlie Patino is in the first-team.

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And players such as Marcelo Flores and Omari Hutchinson may not be far behind in the years to come.

But it seems that another player has really managed to catch Arteta’s eye.

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Cirjan joined the club back in 2019 and he has since gone on to make a number of appearances for both the under-18s and under-23s.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

The midfielder also scored in the Papa John’s Trophy for the Gunners last season. Unfortunately, his season was disrupted by injury.

He only managed four appearances in any competition after February.

Supporters will be hoping that he can get back on track this season, particularly with Wheatley sharing just how highly Arteta thinks of the 18-year-old starlet.

“He’s really highly rated by Mikel Arteta,” he said, on his own YouTube channel. “Now he had an injury last season, but before then, I was told that Mikel Arteta considers him to be the next big thing from the academy.

“Unfortunately, he did have a few injury problems. I think he was ruled out for quite a few months with a serious injury. But he’s back now. I think he’s done his rehab. And he’s certainly a player to look out for.”

Arsenal have outstanding group coming through academy ranks

It was the young players who gave Arsenal fans something to smile about last season. The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli made a really important impact.

And it appears that the next crop could be just as exciting. There are international players such as Karl Hein and Omar Rekik hoping to knock on the door.

Meanwhile, Miguel Azeez and Nikolaj Moller are looking to impress while out on loan.

So for Cirjan to be the player Arteta potentially rated higher than the rest is quite something.

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