Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Cohen Bramall from non-league Hednesford Town.
The left-back, who was working in a car factory until recently, impressed during a short trial with the club before Christmas.
Arsene Wenger likened Bramall’s route to Arsenal to that of Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, both of whom built reputations in France’s lower leagues.
And he described the 20-year as is a “very exciting prospect”, telling the club website: “He is a young, promising left back who has a lack of experience at the top level but who has fantastic ingredients.
“He has tremendous pace, a good left foot, a great desire to do well.”
Bramall will initially be part of Arsenal’s U23 squad, although he recently told Sky Sports he was “gobsmacked” at being asked to train with the senior side at London Colney.
“The standard was insane,” he said. “It was as sharp as anything. They kept the ball and popped it around so well.
“It was an absolute honour to be a part of it and everyone was so welcoming. Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chuba Akpom helped me through the whole thing. I felt like I did well.”