Mikel Arteta has finally brought the feel-good factor back to the Emirates this season, with Arsenal sitting five points clear at the top of the table.

There is a genuine belief around the club that they could end their 19-year title drought this term and the recent success must go down to several of the Gunners’ young starlets, especially Bukayo Saka.

The 21-year-old has emerged from the Hale End academy in recent seasons to become not just one of the shining lights in Arteta’s side, but also one of the continent’s brightest talents.

He has already scored 27 Premier League goals for the club in just over 100 appearances and he has played a key role for the North London side this term. The question now is, can Arteta unearth another talent similar to Saka?

Seb Ferdinand may just be the answer.

Who is Seb Ferdinand?

The 17-year-old signed a scholarship last summer having impressed with the U16 side and has made the leap to the U18s this season.

The jump certainly hasn’t fazed the winger – who is capable of operating on either wing – as he has netted five goals in just 19 appearances across the U18 Premier League and the FA Youth Cup this season.

Add in a further three assists and it’s evident he possesses the same attacking qualities that Saka does from the right flank, a keen eye for goal and the ability to create plenty of chances for his teammates.

His coach at U18 level is former Arsenal starlet Jack Wilshere, who knows exactly what it takes to impress and break into the first team and the 31-year-old has been delighted with the progress of his young prodigy, saying: “Seb is just getting better and better.

“He works hard in training, he’s always out there, he’s always willing to learn and when you have a player like that with that hunger and desire to get better, he’s a joy to work with.”

It looks as though Saka 2.0 is already thriving in the academy and there is no better place to learn, especially with the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe, and Saka himself kicking on to new levels since making their senior bow.

The future looks bright for Ferdinand, he just needs to continue scoring and playing well and the next 12 months could see him make his Arsenal debut.


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