Arsenal have officially completed the signing of non-league talent Cohen Bramall after the former Hednesford Town player impressed on trial and showed qualities that Arsene Wenger believes replicated what he first saw in a young Ashley Cole more than 15 years ago.

Despite training with the senior squad during his trial and being able to rub shoulders with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, Bramall will begin his Gunners career in the Under-23 side as he gets to grips with professional football for the first time.

He's been presented with an incredible opportunity. However, the question remains, will he be able to take full advantage and make it at this level or will the jump simply be too great?

The sceptical argument is that Bramall is likely to struggle. A non-league grounding and humble footballing beginnings should serve him well and ensure he appreciates everything he's got, but he's had to beat the odds just to get this far and they're still very much stacked against him.

At 20 years of age, he's already lost a sizeable chunk of the time usually afforded to emerging talents before serious results are expected and it's difficult to look beyond an immediate future dominated by no more than U-23 games and a cycle of lower league loans.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Manchester United snapped up a similarly aged defender by the name of Sadiq El Fitouri from non-league Salford City in 2015 after he impressed former player Phil Neville. Two years later, El Fitouri still hasn't challenged for a first-team place and is set to be released when his contract expires.

It would be brilliant for football if Bramall can make the grade at Arsenal and head to the top, but that would make him a big exception to the rule in a world where so few do.

Some strongly believe he can get there, though. As a counter argument, 90min's Chris Deeley has this to say on Bramall having everything he needs and the right support to go all the way:

"Arsene Wenger is brilliant at young players. It's that simple; so simple in fact, that it doesn't even require a grammatically complete sentence to broadcast it.

"Nobody sensible is expecting Bramall to make an instant impact and, frankly, Arsenal don't need him to. Don't expect to see him even close to the first team for the best part of 18 months - probably more - as he develops physically and tactically.


"This is less about a trust in Bramall himself, having not watched much of Hednesford Town of late, but a trust in Wenger and his method of bringing through young players. There's a patience there which isn't always present when new talents arrive at top flight clubs, and time and again it's allowed youngsters to fire themselves onto the scene in a big way."

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For more from Chris, head to @ThatChris1209