Arsenal’s wonderkids are well aware of their own surroundings and one in particular, Donyell Malen has set his sights on legend status.
Arsenal’s wide supply of wonderkids is meeting with mixed results. Some are shining in the best way they can. Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Krystian Bielik are making positive progress. Romanian wonderkid Vlad Dragomir has made a few highlight clips, but he has been up and down. That’s okay, he is only 17.
Beyond that, there has been very little news. Yassin Fortune and Ismael Bennacer have been fairly mummed. As too has Dutch wonder-kid-striker Donyell Malen. The young Dutchman is an incredibly highly-touted attacker and Ajax head of youth Wim Jonk had nothing but good things to say about the young man. He was also incredibly regretful that Malen decided to leave the Ajax youth squad behind.
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“Donyell is a great talent. It is extremely unfortunate that he is leaving Ajax,” he said as quoted by ESPN FC. “We have made Donyell an excellent offer and presented a clear plan for his development. If the player still makes the decision [to leave], that’s disappointing, because his potential is clear and he would be given opportunities with Ajax.”
As is the case with any youth product, there are no guarantees. Having great raw ability means diddly in the grand scheme. It is no coincidence that not all of the ‘wonderkids’ that Arsenal has stocked up on over the years are rocking out in the Premier League. But with how many they are loading up on, there is an increased chance that one will hit it big. It’s math.
For those unfamiliar with the kid. Have a look at seven minutes of his splendid highlights.
Malen is quite the young talent. And he has Arsenal in his blood.
“When I found out Arsenal were interested in me I felt so proud and excited. Arsenal was a club that had always interested me for two main reasons, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry,” he said as quoted by the Metro.
Nothing can replicate someone’s passion to play on a team. Donyell Malen has that passion. Knowing that he is walking (hopefully running) on the same pitch as so many players of legendary status will only spur him to greatness. At just 16 years of age, it is nice to know that he is well aware of the honor that it is to suit up at Arsenal. That sounds corny, but it is true. The kid has a good head about him that is a great sign. He is 16 years old.
Donyell Malen, as it is, is just another head in a massive crowd. It is going to take something extraordinary to break through to the Arsenal first team. It will take good fortune, good timing, and supreme work ethic. But he has a good start. He has a good head on him.