Theo Walcott backs 'very talented' Jeff Reine-Adelaide for Arsenal success
Theo Walcott has tipped Jeff Reine-Adelaide to succeed at Arsenal following the young forward's impressive preseason performances.
Reine-Adelaide, 17, showed his potential off the bench in Arsenal's 6-0 victory over Lyon in the Emirates Cup last Saturday, with Arsene Wenger rewarding the forward with a start against Wolfsburg.
The summer signing from Lens set up Walcott for the winner the Wolfsburg match on Sunday to hand the Gunners the trophy, and the England forward has predicted a promising future for the France under-17 starlet.
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"For 17 he's confident on the ball and he wants to express himself as well, which is important," Walcott told the club's official website.
"It's always nice to see a young player not be shy on the ball. Even if he makes a mistake he wants it again, which is a good sign.
"Getting that assist at the weekend just shows he's got that touch in the final third where it matters most, and he's got a good physical presence about him. The most important thing is not to put too much pressure on the young guy's shoulders.
"He's still got a lot to learn but he's at the best club to do that with the best manager as well. He's definitely got some skills and he's very talented, I've got to admit."
Wenger said of Reine-Adelaide after the Lyon game: "[He] is something special you know. He is a great talent and when he came on you could see that -- 17 years old let's not forget. I don't remember how I played at 17 but I didn't play like that."
Walcott, who joined Arsenal as a teenager in 2006, has advised Reine-Adelaide to remain confident when working with the first-team squad.
"I was completely starstruck when I first came here, so he may be in the same boat as well," he added.
"It's always quite surreal when you walk into the dressing room and you're training with guys that you use to play as on FIFA.
"It may take a while just to get used to that but when he plays games he'll forget about that because he knows he's good enough to be here. That's why he's been given the opportunity to play and if he gets that in his head, he will go far."