Whilst it may seem like Arsenal handled the transfer market poorly with only two major signings, plenty of work is being done behind the scenes.
In their latest attempt of adding experience and knowledge to the air of the academy training camp, Hale End, the Gunners have signed up Jamie Cureton as a temporary coach.
The 42-year-old landed the part-time role after a staggering 24 years of senior football in which he’s managed to play for 19 clubs in and around the Football League.
Cureton finished as the Championship’s top goalscorer in the 2006/07 season after an impressive spell with Colchester, whilst also making the PFA Team of the Year six years later following a memorable year with Exeter City.
Having linked up with the academy at Hale End three weeks ago, Cureton has been working predominantly with the Under-16’s but has also found some time to work with the U-15’s.
Believe it or not the striker is still scoring goals in the Evo-Stik League South Premier division for Farnborough and is likely to make his Arsenal coaching role more permanent once he’s hung up his boots.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with football.london – Cureton spoke of his desire to explore his next big step in football and admitted the Arsenal job was too good to turn down.
I got approached in the summer to see if I was interested and it was something that really took my fancy I suppose, being Arsenal. There are not many better places to start learning your trade.
I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m getting used to a different side of football. I’m an assistant to Trevor Bumstead who is the (U16’s) manager. It’s a good age group and obviously they are at an important stage of their career trying to earn scholarships.
I do the main squad, but I do work with the strikers as well. Centre forward wise we look at their video clips and I just try to help them with their careers. As a specialist they want me to help with the strikers.
At Arsenal you know the kids will always have a chance, especially in the cup competitions. If they prove themselves then they will stay around the squad.
Arsenal recently installed brand new facilities at Hale End which has now made it one of the most advanced training camps in the football industry that is set up for academy use only.
Sitting just down the road from London Colney, it acts as a base for youngsters to be educated both on the pitch and in the classroom as they push for a professional contract.
It’s acted as a home to the likes of Alex Iwobi and more recently Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah who are all pushing for a place in the first team.
It’ll be interesting to see what Cureton’s impact makes on these younger lads as we’ve had very little success in terms of strikers coming through the academy to land a starting place.