Reuell Walters was recently picked by Mikel Arteta in the Gunners squad for their pre-season friendly away to FC Nurnberg. There is an exciting buzz around him, and there is a reason why.
Reuell Walters, a gifted defender who is only 18 years old, was born in London, England. He joined the Arsenal youth ranks in October 2020 and is now a part of the club’s academy. He presently plays for the club’s Under-21 team in north London.
Given his remarkable physical attributes and a mature sense of the game for his age, he is a flexible player who usually plays as a right-back but is more than capable of being used in central defense as well.
The gifted kid was a member of the matchday squad for last season’s 2-2 tie between the first team and Sporting CP, despite not being utilized as a substitute.
According to Transfermarkt, Walters played 23 games for the Under-21 team last season, appearing 12 times as a right-back and ten times as a center-half. Although he has not yet played for Arsenal at the senior level, after 55 appearances in the academy since joining in November 2020, many see him as the team’s next big thing.
Walters was noticed by Crystal Palace, Chelsea, and Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur after beginning in the Sunday League for Peckham Town.
He ultimately decided to join Spurs because he and his family thought it would be ideal for his growth. After joining Spurs in 2015, he spent some of his formative years in their academy system.
But after four years with the team, he felt he was losing his direction, so he chose to step away from the sport.
Walters told Arsenal Media in 2021: “We did a lot of research and decided that Tottenham would be the best place for my development. I stayed with them for the next four years of my life, and they eventually offered me another two-year contract, but this is when I made the biggest decision of my career so far.
“At that time, I was permanently playing with the age group above, but I felt like over the years, I’d lost my way with what makes me stand out on a football pitch, and I was becoming a player that I didn’t want to be.
“I wasn’t attacking like I used to, I wasn’t as confident as I used to be, and I wasn’t showing what I thought I was capable of. I felt like being in an academy made me try to play a certain way, and I was almost playing within myself.
“At that moment, my dad and I made the decision together that I would take a break from academy football and focus on myself again. That break would last nearly two years, and I used almost every moment to challenge and improve myself. It was a really scary and risky decision, but I knew there was more to come from me and that I needed this break.”
After taking a hiatus from football, Walters joined the Gunners and has made good progress ever since. He spent time with the under-18s and under-23s last season, and in February 2022, he signed his first professional deal with Arsenal.
He told the club: “I’m just really grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. I just want to make sure that I start to push on and do what I’ve been doing before, but now to a new level.”
It’s encouraging to see him make the first team. Arsenal supporters too are very excited about the young prodigy.
The young star is also very famous among the youth, and it is not because of his football skills. To people who play Fortnite, he is rjw, creator of a popular map called RJW’s BOX PVP.
He is not only an avid Fortnite player, but also a gaming content creator with approximately 9,000 Instagram followers and more than 11,000 YouTube subscribers.
But now, Arsenal have one of England’s rising talents on their hands, and Fortnite will probably have to wait because of his advancement through the Arsenal setup.