For most young players the primary objective is to work their way up the ranks at club level first, before hopefully achieving senior international recognition later down the line.
Arsenal’s Glen Kamara though, is in line to make his senior international debut for Finland at the tender age of 19 after making impressive progress this season.
Kamara, a stylish defensive-midfielder, has been an Arsenal player for three years since arriving from Southend United. He has developed well in the ensuing period- establishing himself as an important member of the U21 side during the past couple of campaigns.
A good reader of the game who frequently makes expertly-timed challenges, Kamara is also impressive technically and is capable of playing incisive passes to help initiate attacking moves.
His progress certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by manager Arsene Wenger, who called Kamara up to the first-team squad for the Champions League trip to Galatasaray this season, and also invited the youngster to train with the senior players on several occasions throughout the campaign.
Kamara, who can also fill in at right-back or centre-back if required, experienced some disappointment towards the end of the campaign, as the arrival of Krystian Bielik – a player who has already been promoted to the first-team squad – meant that he didn’t feature as frequently for the U21s in the final few weeks of the season.
However, his exploits with Finland will certainly have improved his mood. Kamara has already established himself in his country’s U21 side, and was selected to train with their senior squad ahead of the game against Estonia next week.
Kamara was initially supposed to return to the U21s, but a succession of injuries coupled with the fact that he has impressed in training have led to him earning a place in the squad for the game, and he could well be a full international this time next week.
Next season Kamara will hope to broaden his footballing horizons even further, with a loan spell high on the agenda. The youngster has already stated that he would rather move abroad- either to the Netherlands or France- than experience life in England’s lower leagues.
Making the grade at Arsenal will be difficult for Kamara, particularly with Bielik being his main source of competition and Francis Coquelin still rather young. However, Kamara is a hard worker and an especially determined individual, and he will be looking to give his all over the next couple of years as he attempts to turn his dream of becoming an Arsenal first-team player into reality.