Mikel Arteta has decided to adhere to advice from Jack Wilshere to promote Arsenal academy sensation Reuell Walters to replace Jurrien Timber following his ACL injury.

That is according to Football Transfers, which reports that Wilshere has urged Arteta to offer Walters a chance. The Gunners’ Under-18s coach has reiterated his belief in the 18-year-old after Timber suffered an ACL injury last weekend. He will now sit out most of the campaign.

Arteta had intended to rely heavily on Timber following the 22-year-old’s transfer from Ajax in July. Arsenal signed the Dutchman thanks to his versatility to play as a centre-half, at left-back and at right-back. But he sustained a serious knee injury on his Premier League debut.

Arsenal academy prospect Reuell Walters against Watford
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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Arteta decides to promote Arsenal prospect Walters to replace Timber

Arsenal have considered exploring the transfer market to replace Timber. But Arteta is ready to give Walters a real chance to step up from their academy. He has already trained with the Emirates Stadium club’s first-team on several occasions. But he is yet to play a senior fixture.

Gunners chiefs began holding internal discussions over promoting Walters immediately after receiving confirmation of Timber’s ACL injury. Arsenal have tremendously high hopes for the Under-19 England international and believe Walters can become as good as William Saliba.

How good is England U19 defender Walters?

Arsenal academy prospect Reuell Walters against Boreham Wood
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Walters joined the academy set-up at Arsenal in 2020 after taking a break from youth-level football upon leaving Tottenham Hotspur. He has since become a key part of the Gunners’ Under-21s and has represented England at the U18 and U19 levels as a versatile presence.

Arteta has now decided to follow Wilshere’s advice as Arsenal rate Walters’ potential very highly. The Gunners boss has also already named the Lambeth-born prospect on his bench in several first-team fixtures. But he is so far yet to give the defender his competitive debut.

Walters did feature for Arsenal during pre-season this summer, however, after turning out against Watford and FC Nurnberg. Arteta has kept a close eye on his development and will now utilise his versatility. Walters is naturally a right-back but can also play as a midfielder.

Coaches have even utilised Walters as a centre-back on the right-hand side of a back three. The Gunners’ Under-21s manager, Mehmet Ali, is one who appreciates what the teenager offers in central defence. Ali called Walters ‘excellent’ after his ‘flying’ form last September.

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