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Cohen Bramall signs for Arsenal: Looking at the Gunners' new recruit

The ESPN FC crew discuss Mesut Ozil's contract situation.

Cohen who?

That may have been the reaction from plenty of Arsenal fans to the news the Gunners have signed 20-year-old non-league defender Cohen Bramall from Hednesford Town.

The little-known Bramall is not exactly the kind of January signing that will boost Arsenal's title hopes or send supporters flocking to the club store to get his name on a shirt.

But fans are used to having to settle for young promising prospects, and Bramall could be seen as Arsene Wenger's latest attempt to unearth a talent that had slipped under the radar.

What type of player is he?

Bramall is a left-back who relies heavily on his pace and loves to push forward in attack, happily taking on defenders on raids down the flank.

Speed seems to be his greatest asset, and Hector Bellerin has already shown Arsenal what an important weapon that can be for a full-back. That's not to say Bramall is the next Bellerin; his technique still looks raw and he has yet to be tested at a professional level.

But speed is one thing you can't teach, and Arsenal are hopeful the rest of his game can be developed to a level where it matches his athletic abilities.

Why did Wenger sign him?

The Arsenal boss has already compared Bramall to a young Ashley Cole, which should ramp up the pressure on the youngster. And after the signing was announced, Wenger said: "He has tremendous pace, a good left foot, a great desire to do well. Overall, he's a very exciting prospect."

When will we see him in an Arsenal shirt?

Don't expect Bramall to play for the first team any time soon. Like so many of Wenger's signings, this one is for the future, not the present. Arsenal say Bramall will play for the Under-23 side this season, and it's probably a good bet that he stays at that level the following campaign as well. Wenger has acknowledged that Bramall isn't ready for the Premier League yet, although the player told Sky Sports that he hopes to fight for a first-team spot in the 2017 preseason.

Cohen Bramall is seen as one for the future at Arsenal.

Why are Arsenal signing a non-league player?

Well, this one is a bit hard to explain, especially given Bramall's age. Most of the young talents signed by Wenger as future prospects are 17 or 18 who get plucked from other top-tier academies.

At 20, it's surprising that no one above the seventh tier of English football had recognised Bramall's talent already. However, Wenger has instructed his scouts to step up their monitoring of the lower divisions after seeing the likes of Jamie Vardy go from non-league football to becoming a Premier League star.

"We have some players now who come from lower divisions, and you need scouts in lower divisions because many of them have to go down before they come up. And (Bramall) is one of them," Wenger said.

And from Arsenal's point of view, this is a punt with no downside given the reported transfer fee of £40,000. The worst-case scenario is that Bramall spends a couple of years training under the Arsenal coaches, maybe goes on loan for a season and develops into a player they can sell on for a tidy profit.

The best-case scenario is that they've bought the next Cole.

Where can we see footage of him play?

There's a compilation of some of Bramall's non-league exploits here and a video of him making a "rabona" assist here.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.

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