Arsenal have targeted a natural left sided athlete of a footballer in Junior Hoilett. He began playing at football at just 5 years of age and was talented at Basketball and Baseball amongst other sports. His ability stood him head and shoulders above other young footballers and was said to be 2 years above his age group before he was even ten years old. At ten he was playing at the highest level in Canada, and apparently scored a remarkable bicycle kick that built his reputation among coaches and scouts.
Fast forward two years to where he was invited to progress his career in Europe. Each year he has a bet with his younger brother, who plays professionally in Germany, called Jaineil. Whichever scores the lesser goals buys the higher scorer a gift at the end of the season. Last year, it was Junior who bought Jaineil a watch. He survived an bouts of homesickness with support from his father (and agent) David, and his mother Ingrid.
Still only the sixth Canadian to score a goal in the Premier League, the intriguing thing about Hoilett is that his international destiny is a mystery. The player himself says ‘it’s nice to have options.’ Allegedly he may qualify through extended family for Jamaica, the United States and even perhaps England.
He runs at pace from the left flank and provides the width for a Blackburn Rovers team that relies on work rate, power and height. His role is part-Benayoun and part-Walcott. He combines intelligent creativity and traditional wing play. He has an excellent touch and like Wilshere, he is able to run at his fastest speed but still pick out a runner with a key pass. It is difficult to compare him to players, but he has elements of both Ashley Young’s movement and vision. When you give him space and let him turn he draws challenges and shifts his balance, before driving to the touch line. Similar to Young, he is most frequently employed on the left flank cutting in on his right foot – as per the modern trend. When Yakubu finds space, Hoilett plays him in.
Several days ago, I tweeted that I had heard Arsenal wanted Hoilett and days afterward other similar reported from newswires across Europe. It is only right that Arsenal are scouting such a capable, likeable young professional. He fits into the Arsenal style because he is a hungry, earnest, quick, young, and technically gifted athlete. I am not sure he has Miyaichi’s penalty area composure, or Oxlade-Chamberlain’s all round game but he might be more efficient at creating the build up through quick passing and movement in the final third.
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