As we have all seen, Arsenal’s Hale End academy graduates have made quite a significant contribution to the club’s first team over the past 18 months. Today I sat down with Jeorge Bird, who is a prominent follower of the Arsenal youth teams.
Omari recently signed his first professional contract at the club, how highly do the club rate him?
JB: He’s very highly rated by the club and has been for many years. Him signing a professional contract seemed inevitable as he is one of the standout players in the U18s.
If you could compare him to similar player in the game at the moment who would it be?
JB: I think he is quite similar to Raheem Sterling in some ways as he is an excellent dribbler and really good at taking players on, while he also has good tactical awareness and can help out defensively. He can play as an attacking midfielder or a winger but has also played at left-back.
I note he recently scored for the Under 18’s side, is there hope of a step up to under 23 level in the near future or is it likely to be a longer process?
JB: He’s already been on the bench for the U23s and I think he will probably make his debut at that level before the end of the season. He might have to be a bit patient though as there are quite a lot of older players ahead of him at the moment.
What are his best qualities, in your opinion?
JB: He’s brilliant at dribbling and playing killer passes, while he is also a fantastic free-kick taker and is very skilful. His vision and understanding of the game are of a very high standard.
And finally, do you think he will eventually follow the recent trail of Bukayo Saka and co and make the grade for the first team?
JB: I think he will definitely make some first-team appearances at least if he stays for an extended period. Making the breakthrough is a different thing entirely and he has to get a bit stronger physically but he certainly has the potential to make an impact.
AB: It’s clear that Omari Hutchinson has enormous talent and is rated very highly by the club. I hope we start to see his presence in and around the first team within the next 18 months or so.
Thanks to Jeorge for his time and you can follow his excellent coverage of Arsenal at all levels on Twitter: @jeorgebird
Occasional writer who follows the Arsenal home and away. Dennis is our greatest ever.