Osei-Tutu could be the answer to Arsenal’s defensive woes

Jordi Osei-Tutu could be the next Arsenal youngster to roll off the club’s enviably long production line.

The 20-year-old, a right-back who can also play on the right wing, has slowly risen up the ranks of the club’s youth set-up and appears primed to make his first-team debut.

At right-back, after all, the Gunners currently have Hector Bellerin out injured, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles is being repurposed into a full-back despite appearing horrendously uncomfortable in the position.

Osei-Tutu has already had a taste of first-team action, though he did not actually get on the pitch. Unai Emery named the youngster as a substitute in the 3-0 win over Vorskla in the Europa League in November. He also gave him a start in his first ever game in charge, a pre-season friendly against Boreham Wood.

Arsene Wenger, too, has seen something in the defender. He named him in his matchday squad for games against Red Star Belgrade and Manchester United last season.

It is evidence that he has impressed those within the Emirates Stadium with his work-rate and determination.

Osei-Tutu has played for both the Under-18s and the Under-23s at Arsenal – making 29 appearances for the former and 23 for the latter. For each team, he has scored two goals, and he won the Premier League 2 title in 2018.

Indeed, he moved to the club from Reading in 2015, costing a reported £100,000, per Football.London.

He was included in the squad to travel to Singapore for a pre-season tour and has played against older opponents this season, lining up for the Under-23s in an EFL Trophy clash with Portsmouth.

Osei-Tutu has his head screwed on, too, and says he is focusing on improving his game as he bids to make his first-team debut.

After signing a new contract with the club, a three-year extension to the initial deal he signed, he told the club’s official website: “My new contract is massive for me but ultimately the aim is to get into the first team. That’s what I’m working towards and I hope to be involved more often.

“I’ve travelled with the first team and made the bench against Red Star Belgrade in Serbia and for the Carabao Cup match versus Norwich last season. I learnt a lot from the times I’ve trained with the players too.

“I’m working especially hard on improving my one-on-one defending. Being up against the likes of Alexis Sanchez last season and Alex Iwobi has helped me immensely.

“Obviously, I spend a lot of time working with players in the under-23s. There’s a lot of attacking talent who are a good test for anyone and we all help each other improve.”

As Arsenal’s season continues, and Emery continues to search for a solution in defence, he may well turn to Osei-Tutu. He is primed and ready, after all.