Mikel Arteta has included Arsenal academy prospect Reuell Walters in his pre-season squad, so here is everything that we know yet about the England youth international.
Walters has travelled to Germany with Arsenal for the Gunners’ second pre-season friendly of the summer against FC Nurnberg. The Emirates Stadium natives kicked off their schedule with a 1-1 draw with Watford at London Colney. Walters appeared as an unused substitute.
Pre-season offers Walters a real chance to impress Arteta further after catching the Arsenal manager’s attention during the 2022/23 campaign. While the Gunners’ training sessions so far this summer have seen the youngster leave a positive impression on their coaching staff.
So, with Walters amongst Arsenal’s travelling squad for their pre-season friendly away to FC Nurnberg, Arsenal Insider has looked at everything we know so far about the 18-year-old…
Who is Reuell Walters?
Reuell Walters is a member of Arsenal’s academy after joining the Gunners’ youth ranks in October 2020. He is currently a part of the north London club’s Under-21 set-up. While the Emirates Stadium outfit gave the youngster his first professional contract in February 2022.
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Arsenal’s arch-rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, actually had first dibs at Walters. He was a part of Spurs’ academy system earlier on in his formative days after joining them in 2015. But they had to let the defender leave in 2019 before Walters took a break from football until 2020.
Returning to the sport with Arsenal’s famed academy set-up at Hale End has seen Walters’ career reach new heights. Walters made his debut for England U18s under boss Ryan Garry in November 2021. While Simon Rusk handed Walters his England U19 bow in March 2023.
Walters enjoyed five appearances for England’s U18 side, including four starts, before Rusk ushered him into the U19s. The teenager made his U19 debut in a European Championship qualifier against Hungary. He has since recorded further outings against Iceland and Turkey.
Where and when was Reuell Walters born?
Reuell Walters was born in Lambeth, a London borough in south London, on December 16, 2004. His parents are Raphael and Aisha, who is a former British gymnastics champion and now coaches gymnastics. The pair also home-schooled Walters at their home in Streatham.
What position does Reuell Walters play?
Reuell Walters can play in a number of positions but the Arsenal gem is most accustomed to playing at right-back. Coaches have also utilised his versatility to play on the right-hand side of a back-three previously. While his attacking mindset can allow Walters to play in midfield.
How good is Reuell Walters?
Reuell Walters attracted interest from a number of clubs before the defender signed his first scholarship contract with Arsenal. A report by The Athletic in April 2023 noted how Chelsea had tried to tempt the defender to join their academy before he committed to Tottenham’s.
Fulham, Manchester United, Manchester City and West Ham United also all phoned Walters in July 2019 following the expiration of his contract at Tottenham. But he opted to accept an offer from the Red Devils for a six-to-eight-week trial and immediately began playing games.
Manchester United also offered Walters a place in their MANNUS programme, aimed at the players the club believe have a greater chance of reaching the first-team. But the switch fell through as the Premier League refused to register him as United were already at their limit.
Walters’ chance to join Manchester United then fell through altogether after deciding they had more pressing positions of need. While the outbreak of Covid-19 and the curtailment of academy football in 2020 scuppered plans for Walters to join Charlton Athletic temporarily.
Now, Arsenal have one of England’s rising talents on their hands and Walters is also leaving a positive impression on Arteta and his coaching staff. A video the Gunners released from their training camp in Germany in 2023 showed Walters getting praise during a small-sided game.
One of Arteta’s coaches can be heard in the video Arsenal posted on YouTube shouting ‘Well done Reu!’ The defender merited praise after using his quick feet to avoid losing possession under duress from Kai Havertz and Reiss Nelson following a one-two with Gabriel Martinelli.
Reuell Walters’ stats at Arsenal
Reuell Walters’ competitive stats as an Arsenal player after the close of the 2022/23 season read without a senior appearance. But Mikel Arteta included the England talent among the Gunners’ substitutes in nine first-team squads, including for eight Premier League matches.
Under-18, Arsenal: 20 appearances, 0 goals, 2 assists
Under-21, Arsenal: 37 appearances, 0 goals, 0 assists
First-team, Arsenal: 0 appearances, 0 goals, 0 assists