Arsenal have their very own Hale End Neymar – & he’s sending defenders dizzy for fun
Mikel Arteta has orchestrated a tremendous rebuild of the Arsenal squad which has seen the Gunners turn into one of the most exciting young squads in world football – and their latest wonderkid might just have been unearthed.
An unbeaten start to the Premier League season including victory over Manchester United has rubbed off on their cup journeys so far, returning to the Champions League with a win and edging past Brentford in round three of the Carabao Cup.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. The Carabao Cup provided Arteta with a chance to rotate, crucially introducing us to 19-year-old Charles Sagoe Jr, who played 68 minutes on his full debut for the club.
You should remember that name. Not just because it’s badass, but because there’s a very good chance it’ll be sprawled across headlines for years to come if his young career so far is anything to go by. Sagoe Jr is the truth, and has all the tools to become a hall of famer Arsenal winger.
Born in Kingston-upon-Thames, Arsenal snapped up Sagoe Jr from Fulham at under-12 level and have been teaching him the ways of Hale End ever since.
A versatile winger who can play anywhere across the front line, he’s wowed his audiences – including some of Arteta’s first team – with his flair and fearlessness.
But what sets apart Sagoe Jr is his creativity, and the ability to put it to devastating use.
Being brought up in academy football is great, but thankfully for all that is good and pure in the world of football, the teenager himself has admitted to growing up watching Neymar and Ronaldinho on YouTube when speaking to Arsenal’s website.
“I remember being mesmerised by watching Neymar and Ronaldinho videos on YouTube and then going into the garden trying to copy their skills.”
That inspiration bleeds into his play, and we could not be any more thankful. Defenders won’t be saying that, mind you.
From body feints and shoulder drops to twists and turns, the kid’s looked a menace at youth level and has all of the tools to take that samba-inspired game to the very top.
UP NEXT: Charles Sagoe Jr 🐿️ pic.twitter.com/mPQ8Jpkd89
— νιzzу🔴⚪ (@DrVizzuals) September 27, 2023
This whole extremely talented young players born after 2000 bursting onto the scene and living out our wildest dreams thing needs nipping in the bud, doesn’t it?
When speaking to the club’s website, he explained the challenges of training with the first team: “They know exactly how to defend against me and because of their experience, they are smart enough to put themselves in the right positions.
It’s the little details of my movements they’ll pick up on and it’s those fine margins that you need to learn if you want to play at the high level they’re at.”
Of course it’s early days, but you can see exactly why Arteta is trusting Sagoe Jr already, from those first team sessions to a full debut.
In an era of passing and passing and passing until we’re all blue in the face, throwback wingers with a desperate need to beat a man with the most sickening skill they can produce before sticking the ball top bins is an extreme commodity.
Sagoe Jr’s profile is an increasingly rare one. When he’s not carrying the ball and squaring up a defender one vs one, he’s threading passes into gaps that didn’t previously exist or searching for the onion sack.
The next step is now taking that to the senior game – and when he does, you’ll know about it.
By Mitch Wilks