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Why Arsenal’s Dan Crowley is a Promising Talent for the Future

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While other Arsenal prospects such as Chuba Akpom, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, and Gedion Zelalem are beginning to receive playing time with the senior Gunners side, 17-year-old Dan Crowley could very well be the brightest young star out of the whole bunch. The teenage midfielder has drawn comparisons with fellow teammate Jack Wilshere and former Gunner Cesc Fabregas.

The Gunners signed the then 15-year-old Crowley from Aston Villa in the summer of 2013 for just under £1 million. Crowley featured for the Aston Villa U-16’s beginning when he was a 12-year-old. Since joining Arsenal, the U-17 England international has made a significant impact with the youth Gunners team. In Crowley’s most impressive match to date in an Arsenal jersey, he netted a brace and collected four assists during last year’s fourth round FA Youth Cup match against Peterborough United.

After turning 17, Crowley signed his first professional contract with Arsenal in August of 2014. The deal was a three-year contract and will not expire until June of 2017.

Although Crowley has not received his first senior Arsenal appearance just yet, that has nothing to do with a lack of talent on the youngster’s part. With a plethora of attack-minded midfielders such as Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, and Jack Wilshere, the Gunners can afford to take their time with implementing Crowley into the team.

Crowley possesses great close control, and both an eye for goal and fantastic vision (as seen here). While he has been compared to both Fabregas and Wilshere, the 17-year-old’s footwork, free kick abilities, and the knack to pick out a through ball reminds me a bit of the skill set of Santi Cazorla, the reigning Premier League Player of the Month.

Prior to joining Arsenal, talkSPORT labeled Crowley, “A true midfielder schemer, in every sense of the word. Crowley has shown an ability to unlock defenses with an inventive brain to compliment his talented feet. Undoubtedly his greatest attribute appears to be his passing, with the 15-year-old appearing most comfortable playing in an advanced position – something he has excelled in for England.”

The 17-year-old’s quality has already been noticed by Roy Hodgson, as the England manager met Crowley while England trained at Arsenal’s facilities in November of 2013.

Despite Arsenal currently having plenty of options in their midfield, Crowley surely has a future with the Gunners. With Rosicky being 34, the young Crowley can quite possibly slide into the Czech international’s roll with the Gunners once he either moves on to another team or retires (although Rosicky is still playing well this season at 34).

Crowley has scored eight goals and accumulated six assists in 21 total matches with Arsenal’s youth team this season (per Transfermarkt.com).

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