One of Arsenal’s promising youngsters is at the crossroads in his career at Arsenal. Former youth team captain Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will find out whether he will remain an Arsenal player or become yet another one of our youngsters to be sold to a Championship team.
Ipswich Town are reported to have offered Arsenal £1M for the utility dynamo.
Wenger has in the past spoken very highly of Jay, yet he did not go on the Far East tour and has been overlooked for the Cologne game. Jay spent last year on loan at Cardiff City where he made 14 appearances scoring twice. This followed on from loan spells at Blackpool and Doncaster Rovers.
Emmanuel-Thomas’s problem is that he is versatile and as such has been used everywhere along the front-line and in midfield. This causes Wenger a problem, he is not sure of the player’s best position.
Whilst Wenger sees this as a weakness, this is in fact a positive and should be used as such by Arsene. Jay can play and has played anywhere along the front, his is big, muscular, fast and can score goals. If Arsene needs a bit of muscle and steel in midfield, again he can call upon Emmanuel-Thomas to do a job.
Where Arsenal have gone wrong in the past is allowing too many of our academy players to leave without giving them an opportunity. The likes of Sidwell, Larsson and Muamba were all jettisoned by the club without affording them a fair crack of the whip, whilst Denilson was given 5 seasons to prove himself.
Look at Ferguson and the likes of Wes Brown ad John O ‘Shea. Neither were dynamic players, but they became reliable squad players who could be called upon by Ferguson to come in and do a decent job. Brown played along the back-line, whilst O’Shea also played in midfield and defence.
This is how Wenger should use Emmanuel-Thomas, a squad player who over the course of time can play anywhere in midfield and attack. Another vital point in favour of keeping Emmanuel-Thomas is that he came through the youth ranks and will show greater loyalty to Arsenal and more commitment than some of our overseas players.
Selling Jay will be a big mistake by Wenger.