All things Arsenal may have slowed down during this international break, but there is one new face in North London this week. The Colorado Rapids announced that midfielder Cole Bassett would be spending the week training with the Arsenal U23s. While most of the senior players are out on international duty, and even a few of the U23s, Bassett will be getting a chance he has dreamed about since he was 10.
SB Nation’s Burgundy Wave covers all things Rapids and noted that when Arsenal played Colorado in preseason Cole stated the Gunners had been his favorite club since childhood. They also note that this is not his first connection with European soccer, as Freiburg were rumored to have made an offer for Bassett last off-season, but the Rapids declined.
To get more info on the young American trialing with Arsenal, I talked with Sean Curtis of the Burgundy Wave.
Cole Bassett joined the Colorado Rapids academy in 2017 and signed his first professional contract the following year. Sean noted that he was given the contract after playing well in a friendly against Boca Juniors during the summer of 2018.
He has the ability to play anywhere in the midfielder, which Transfermarkt seems to confirm. Bassett has lined up as a defensive midfield, attacking midfielder, and on both the left and the right in a 4-4-2, scoring three goals and providing one assists during 27 appearances with the Rapids.
Sean sees his future most likely as an 8, but could develop into a 6 with the right system and players around him. He notes that Bassett is well liked by the Colorado fan base and see him as a future starting XI midfielder. This past MLS season he was behind USMNT’s Kellyn Acosta and former Wolverhampton midfielder Jack Price.
The training stint will be a great experience for the young American. But translating that into a move to Arsenal’s U23s will be a tall order. The first team already has young talents in Mattéo Guendouzi and Joe Willock. While the U23s have a depth of talent in the midfield as well - Robbie Burton, Nathan Tormey, and James Olayinka.
A dream come true for an Arsenal fan, but most likely experience to help him secure a starting spot for the Rapids in next season. They need it. Colorado missed the playoffs for the third straight year, and for the fifth time in the past six seasons. Makes Arsenal’s current situation seem quite favorable by comparison.