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Alban Bunjaku – So Far & What’s Next?

by on November 25, 2011

Alban Bunjaku (Left) playing for Arsenal U-18's against Chelsea U-18's at the Emirates earlier this season.

Alban Bunjaku arguably one of the stand out players for Steve Bould’s side last season. The talented midfielder scored nine goals last season and getting number of assists for his team-mates as well. Playing in the number ten role just behind the striker in the 4-2-3-1 formation Arsenal play from the first-team to the U-18’s. If you had to describe Bunjaku, you would say he is an Arsenal type player in the way he plays the game. Having great technically ability, able to score goals, skillful with quick feet and much more. But the question is why hasn’t Alban Bunjaku been offered a professional deal yet?

The Romford-born teenager made his debut for Neil Banfield’s side last season after coming on as a substitute against Wigan Reserves. Bunjaku has found it hard to break in to the Reserve squad so far but with the likes of Chuks Aneke, Luke Freeman and Sanchez Watt going out on loan Bunjaku could find himself featuring for the Reserves very soon. Unlucky with injuries last season saw Bunjaku miss the opportunity to be part of Arsenal’s squad which went to the Dallas Cup last season. The young midfielder will be determined to be in the starting-line up against Derby County in the F.A Youth Cup on Wednesday 14th December at Underhill.

Steve Bould did say early this season they were trying to get Bunjaku to release the ball quicker when he makes passes and take less touches as well. But in the last two games for the U-18’s has seen some of Bunjaku’s best form scoring five goals in two games. He’s a player who can make something about of nothing. I’ve seen many people suggest Bunjaku is a play-maker and then others saying he is an attacking midfielder. I find it hard to describe what type of midfielder Bunjaku is because one minute he can remind me of a play-maker having the attributes of one by showing his great passing ability. Then next minute the young midfielder is scoring goals as a second striker almost.

One thing Bunjaku does have is a great first touch, he’s able to control the ball with ease. Which allows him to bring other players in to play either linking up with them or playing a through ball. I wouldn’t say Bunjaku is the quickest player but he’s able to get past players and trick them.

Last weekend saw Bunjaku playing in a midfield trio with Jon Toral and Kristoffer Olsson in the 6-3 victory over Portsmouth U-18’s. Players like Toral and Olsson suit Bunjaku, the way and style he play’s football. All three players are very good technically but still learning the game physically. With Arsène Wenger philosophy being used even in the U-18’s how they want them to play, the “Arsenal Style” some have called it over the years. It suits the likes of Bunjaku because they are players who want to pass the ball and take players on. I’m looking forward and seeing a midfield trio of Bunjaku, Olsson and Toral on more occasions this season.

The midfielder has already scored six goals for Steve Bould’s side this season and will be looking to add to his tally if he’s chosen to play against West Ham United in a couple of weeks. In July of this year their were reports claiming England and Albania were in an international tug-of-war over Bunjaku. With both country’s wanting Bunjaku to choose to play for them. But I’ve never seen Bunjaku named in any England youth level teams which is very surprising for how talented he is.

I fully expect Bunjaku to sign a professional deal with the North London side some when this season, he’s currently in his second year and final year of his scholarship. With Arsenal deciding who will get the professional deals over the next few months out of the second scholars in the U-18’s team.

Hopefully we will see Bunjaku start for Arsenal in the F.A Youth Cup and break in to the Reserve squad in the up incoming months.

You can follow me on twitter @AFC_93.

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One Comment
  1. I have real high hopes for Banjaku. His technique and playing style reminds me of Iniesta, but he’s pretty strong as well. Arsenal should offer him a deal asap. I hope we get to see him at the Grove. He is right at the Wilshere category.

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