Who is Omari Hutchinson? The Arsenal starlet that has impressed Pele

Arsenal have produced plenty of talented gems over recent years – and it looks as if Omari Hutchinson could be the latest player set to make his mark.

The London club have one of the best youth academies in the world, with talented youngsters flying down the conveyor belts.

Bukayo Saka‘s electric pace has excited the North London crowd, while Emile Smith Rowe‘s prolific goal-scoring ability gives fans hope that better things are on the horizon.

However, despite the emergence of the next generation, Arsenal fans are deeply disappointed by their poor January transfer window. They released their former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and allowed squad players to leave without replacing them. They also failed in their pursuit of Dušan Vlahović.

Letting several of their stars go and not bringing any in has left ‘The Gunners’ in a tough spot. In addition, they have had several players suspended due to their poor disciplinary record under Mikel Arteta. Gabriel Martinelli was the latest Arsenal player to see red during their win over Wolves.

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Read: How much did Arsenal save in wages by releasing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?

However, one way they have rectified the issue is by promoting some of their youth players to the first team. And Omari Hutchinson is the latest player to get the call.

Who is Omari Hutchinson?

The 18-year-old midfielder is one of Arsenal’s brightest prospects. He can play in various positions, including on both flanks.

Off the back of his performances in the Under 23s, he appears more than ready for the step up.

Hutchinson has bagged five goals and five assists in his 13 Premier League 2 games in this campaign. He’s also found the back of the net twice in four Papa John’s Trophy games. The Englishman particularly impressed fans when he scored a goal and two assists to help Arsenal secure a remarkable draw against Leicester City.

He has received the honour of securing his place in the squad on three different occasions, and although he’s yet to make it off the bench, he’s more than impressing behind the scenes. His superb showings in training have him on the cusp of a first-team appearance.

Why Omari Hutchinson impressed Pele

One of his most impressive accolades so far is when he received plaudits from none other than Pele. The footballing icon saw Hutchinson compete at a futsal tournament.

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Hutchinson told Goal: “We finished the competition and all the teams came round in a huddle, and the F2 Freestylers came out and started showcasing their skills.

“They asked one member from each team to come out and do a skill, and all the boys were saying, ‘Go on, Omari, go on’.

“So I went up there and did it. They gave me the ball, and I just started doing my skills. When we got a picture with Pele afterwards, he said something like ‘that was amazing’ in his Brazilian accent.”

You don’t get praise from a player of Pele’s calibre unless you’ve earned it. Playing futsal has helped Hutchinson improve his close ball control and movement.

But one essential part of his game sure to impress Mikel Arteta is his ability to drift inside from both wings. The Athletic reported that during a reserve game against Crystal Palace in August, the youngster scored two goals from central areas, despite starting on the right-wing.

Arsenal fans have a lot to be excited about when it comes to Omari Hutchinson. Arteta and his staff share that excitement, judging by his rapid ascent up to the first team.

Featured Image Credit: Getty