For the first in the series, I'll be taking a look into 18 year old Swedish midfielder Kristoffer Olsson. Olsson is a naturally gifted play maker and is tipped to be a star for the future by Wenger and other members of the coaching team at Arsenal.
When Olsson was 13 he was invited for a trial at Chelsea, however he didn't turn up and eventually ended up at Swedish side, IFK Norrköping. 3 years later he was being chased by both Juventus and Ajax but chose Arsenal instead as he moved to England for £200,000.
|Kris Olsson in action against CSKA Moscow in last season's NextGen series|
2013, so far, has been his break through campaign. He was given a place on the side's Asia Tour. He featured 2 times on the tour, scoring in Arsenal's first match against an Indonesian XI and then coming on as a sub against Vietnam. The 18 year old was to then make his full competitive debut in September. He came on as a sub as Arsenal beat West Brom on penalties in the League Cup. Olsson was one of the penalty takers and emphatically scored his.
Olsson has great potential and has the capabilities of turning into a first team player at Arsenal with hard work. In my opinion I think he could turn into a good squad player. I've seen him in action once when the U21's played a pre-season match against Chesham last season and he looked like an accomplished player. He is very assured on the ball and is a good passer from what I've seen. As with many midfield players, if he was to add goals to his game, then he could become a very very good player. Arsenal's previous Swedish players have included a club legend Freddie Ljungberg, and a player that didn't turn out as well, Seb Larsson. Which one Kris will turn out to be more like in terms of his Arsenal career remains to be seen though.
Video of Kris Olsson in action last season: