Why Arsenal should consider offering Cole Bassett a deal
According to Denver Post (h/t Football.London), United States youngster Cole Bassett has left his homeland to spend a week on trial at Arsenal, with a view to earning a professional deal with the Gunners in the coming months.
With most of the players leaving the camp for the international break, Arsenal boss Unai Emery is set to run the rule over the teenage prodigy at close quarters on the training ground.
Bassett, who currently plies his trade in his homeland with MLS outfit Colorado Rapids FC, is expected to train with the club’s U-23 side for a week and any decision on offering him a deal will depend on whether he manages to impress the coaching staff.
Born in Littleton, Colorado, Bassett started his footballing education at local club Colorado Rush before joining Colorado Rapids at the youth level in 2017. Having impressed for the club’s development side in his first season, Bassett was promoted to the first-team in the 2018 season and made his professional debut against Portland Timbers.
Bassett, who also had a short stint at Colorado Springs Switchbacks in the American second-tier, made only 6 senior appearances in his first season in the MLS but he really came of age in the 2019 campaign to play a more substantial role.
The 18-year-old made 21 appearances for Colorado Rapids across all competitions in the 2019 campaign and chipped in with a couple of goals and an assist, although he wasn’t a regular fixture in the playing eleven.
However, despite his limited involvement, he has already earned rave reviews in his homeland and with a trip across the Atlantic opening up a chance for him to impress the coaching staff at Arsenal, Bassett could well be destined for greater heights in the future.
To put things into perspective, Cole Bassett looks like a real talent at this stage of his career and while his credentials in the MLS hold little regard with respect to the quality and the intensity of football on the English shores, Arsenal should definitely weigh up the possibility of offering him a deal if he manages to prove himself during the trial period.
As well as forking out millions of pounds to bolster their senior ranks, the Gunners have also put a lot of emphasis on blooding up and coming starlets in the first-team under the stewardship of Unai Emery, with academy prospects like Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock currently working wonders despite the club’s lacklustre run of form in the Premier League.
While the report doesn’t mention whether Arsenal are genuinely interested in the youngster, Bassett seems to be a player in the right age bracket to come through the door as an exciting addition to the club’s development squad which is already littered with plenty of bright emerging prospects.
Historically, Arsenal are right up there with the best in Europe when it comes to polishing young players into top-quality professionals in the game, and notwithstanding the fact that the Premier League hasn’t proven to be a happy hunting ground for the MLS stars in recent years, Cole Bassett is still very much in his formative years as a footballer.
To that end, Arsenal should fancy their chances of transforming the highly-rated central midfielder into a Premier League quality player in the future, as the 18-year-old still has plenty of time to mould his game to suit the demands of playing in England.
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That he is already rubbing shoulders with the big boys at the senior professional level at the tender age of 18 is indicative of a level of maturity that belies his years, regardless of the level of competition in the MLS.
Weston McKennie, who was once on the books of FC Dallas, is currently working wonders for Schalke in the German Bundesliga and Bassett could be the next MLS prospect to make a name for himself in Europe.
With that in mind, the fans will be hoping that Cole Bassett’s trip to North London isn’t only restricted to a trial period.