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Arsenal sign Hednesford Town youngster - Cohen Bramall

Wednesday 11th January 2017
Arsenal have successfully wrapped up a deal for 20-year-old Cohen Bramall. They signed him from Hednesford for a fee of £40K. For Hednesford, this offer was too good to refuse.
So who is Cohen Bramall? He was born in Crewe, Cheshire. His football career started out semi-professionally at Kidsgrove Athletic at the age of 17. He then went on to play for other non-league clubs such as Alsager Town, Nantwich Town, Southport, Newcastle Town and Market Drayton Town. In 2016 he joined Hednesford Town and went on to play 25 games scoring one goal in the Northern League Premier Division (7th Tier).

Bramall is known to play left back but can also push forward into the left wing position. He is known mainly for his pace and dribbling. Something many Hednesford Town fans have taken a likening to this season.

Arsenal scouts were taking an observational eye at the youngster and were impressed giving no option but to urge the "Gunners" manager, Arsene Wenger to sign him. Arsenal then proceeded to offer Bramall a trial at the club.

A couple of days prior to the trial at Arsenal, Bramall was made redundant from his full-time job at Bentley Motors in his hometown, Crewe. This gave him more incentive to impress under the eyes of Arsene Wenger.

The "Gunners" boss believes that Bramall has potential but isn't ready for the Premier League just yet. However, Wenger believes Bramall to have "similarities to a young Ashley Cole". They both had a brief chat afterwards and Wenger stated, "I like how you play". Bramall then told the press "Just them words. You don't get that a lot do you. It's amazing".

The 20-year-old will join up with the Arsenal U23 squad and train with them. From here, he will gain experience with some of England's best coaches to guide him. He will also be training with some of the best youth talents in the country as Arsenal are known for having a great youth academy.
Wenger may have plans to include him in cup games or let him settle in with the U23's. He may even be let out on loan to give him some league experience.

With this being a rare case scenario (non-league player signing for a big club), who else has had transfers like this in the past? Ian Wright was another player to play non-league football, transferring from Dulwich Hamlet to Crystal Palace at the age of 21. He then went on to play a vital role for Arsenal including scoring a hat-trick on his league debut, winning the FA Cup twice, the League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the Premier League. He was also Arsenal's top goal scorer six seasons in a row.

Another player that made "the big time" is Troy Deeney. He started out playing for non-league side Chelmsley Town before Walsall F.C. signed him professionally. Watford then snapped him up for £250K. He has been a prolific goal scorer for "The Hornets" with 94 league goals in 261 appearances.

Jamie Vardy is another player with a great success story starting his career at Stocksbridge Park Steels before signing for Halifax Town. He then moved to Fleetwood Town the year after. Leicester then came in for Vardy with a record-breaking £1M fee for a non-league player. He went on to help them win the Championship in 2014. In the 2015-16 season, Vardy broke the record of scoring in eleven consecutive Premier League games. Leicester went on to win the Premier League that season with Vardy scoring 24 goals. He was also voted the Premier League Player of The season and FWA Footballer of The Year. Vardy also has 14 caps for England scoring 5 goals.

So what can we expect from Cohen Bramall? Will he be a future England star? How will Arsene Wenger utilise him? We may see him out on loan at a league club or maybe playing for Arsenal in cup games. We will keep an eye out for what could potentially be a future star.
Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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