Rekik on joining Arsenal, playing style and more

Omar Rekik

Omar Rekik can’t wait to step out in Arsenal colours for the first time. 

The 19-year-old became our first academy signing of the January transfer window on Thursday as he joined us from Hertha Berlin, but now he’s desperate to get out on the pitch and prove his worth. 

We spoke to Rekik after completing his move to north London - and here’s what he had to say: 

on how it feels to join Arsenal… 
It feels great to be here after a long time of hard work. It feels great. I moved in three weeks ago and I’ve been in quarantine, so I can’t wait to get started. 

on why he chose Arsenal…
The warmth of the people and the interest that they showed in me, and of course, when a club like Arsenal is interested, I don’t think anyone needs to think twice. 

on what the fans can expect from him…
I’m a winner. I always want to win, and that’s with everything, not only football, ever since I was a kid. My style of play? I’m a central defender and I like to play with the ball, I like to play out from the back, and I think this is also the structure of the club. It fits perfectly. 

on whether Arsenal’s style of play was important in his decision…
Of course! With Mikel Arteta, if you watch the games, he’s not a coach who thinks quickly to play a long ball. Of course, when needed, you have to do it, but I think the style of play fits. 

on whether our history of giving young players opportunities appealed to him…
Of course. As a young player, you need to play somewhere where they’re not afraid to give you a chance and you can see a lot of youth players have broken through here, and I want to be the next one. 

on his Bundesliga experience with Hertha Berlin…
At Hertha I had a lot of experiences, good and bad, but I’m happy for even the bad ones because it makes you into the person and character that you are. I’ve experienced a lot there. I had three good seasons there and I’m very happy. 

on what he hopes to achieve between now and the end of the season…
I just take things day by day. I’m here now and I have to work harder and show them what I can do and what I’m capable of. When I do this, my qualities will show on the pitch and then hopefully I can get a chance.

Post-Match Report

Match report: Brighton 3-2 Arsenal U-18s


Despite a spirited display from start to finish, our under-18s were beaten 3-2 by Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Omari Hutchinson scored twice and delivered an outstanding performance, but it wasn’t enough to secure a share of the spoils.

Ken Gillard made one change from our 1-0 victory over West Ham last Tuesday with Mauro Bandeira replacing James Sweet.

Brighton ran out 5-0 winners the last time we met in this competition - and they made a fast start once again, as Ed Turns opened the scoring with a powerful header from a corner.

The hosts then went on to double their advantage shortly after the half-hour mark through Zak Emmerson, who raced away on the counter and coolly finished past Hubert Graczyk.

But we bounced back before the half-time interval, as Graczyk set Hutchinson free down the left to run the length of the pitch, before wriggling past two defenders and firing home.

Brighton responded well after the restart, however, as Emmerson doubled his tally just 15 seconds after the referee’s whistle.

Hutchinson reduced the deficit once more late on, showing great composure to finish from the spot, but it was ultimately too little too late. 


U18 table


Up next, we will face West Brom on Saturday, February 27.

The game will take place at London Colney with kick-off at 12pm (UK time).

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