Trying to keep tabs on Arsenal’s juniors and reserves is tougher these days – there seems fewer times we can watch them. My judgement as to which youngsters will make it was mostly way out when I used to see the reserves. Now I don’t, I admit I don’t have a clue.
One player I thought would make it was Sanchez Watt. I really thought he could be a force for Arsenal, but is now playing with Colchester.
He was born in Hackney on 14 February 1991 and was discovered by Arsenal scout Gary Nott playing as a seven-year-old for Senrab. I can’t imagine what it must be like either for the parents or the young boy aged seven to know Arsenal is watching you. Barcelona soon took an interest too apparently.
He went on to play for England under 16, 17, and under 19. He can also play for Jamaica and for Wales if he feels like it.
He played in the 2008/9 Youth Cup team and in 2009/10 made three League Cup appearances, scoring in the first of these against WBA.
He signed professionally for Arsenal in July 2008, and in August that year played in the Herbert Chapman Trophy match against Huddersfield, before spending the season in the youth and reserve side.
There was obviously high hope for him as in September 2009 he was named on the bench for the Standard Liège Champions League match.
Then came the loan, starting with four appearances for Southend before going on to Leeds. In the summer of 2010 he was named as an under 21 player in Arsenal’s squad for the season before rejoining Leeds United on loan for the whole season, appearing 28 times for the club. Unusually he was allowed to play for Leeds against Arsenal in the FA Cup.
On 23 November 2011 Sanchez joined Sheffield W on loan but the Wednesday manager said that he felt Watt did not have the physical presence for League On. He moved to Crawley in January and then finally to Colchester on loan.
On 28 June 2013 he was transferred to Colchester United. Thus having started the 2009/10 season as an Arsenal player involved in the League Cup he opens the 2013/14 playing for Colchester in League One.
I started by saying, how does a seven year old cope with being watched by Arsenal. I end by wondering how a 23 year old sees his move from the Emirates and all the Arsenal training ground has to offer, to the world of League One. I can’t imagine.