Date: 8th September 2015 at 10:31am
Written by:

Koby Arthur is one of those talents that make you proud of our youth system. He knows the ethos of the club inside out and really does play with the knowledge that the fans are willing him to succeed.

As we all know, this week has brought the international break and as some players leave to play for their national team, many are left behind to train and have a restful time. Koby Arthur, is a Ghanaian international and therefore is clearly not going to compete in the European Championships; it’s basic geography!

But whilst some players are purely training, Arthur played a competitive match for the U21’s vs Leeds. Despite a very narrow defeat, Arthur played well and it got me thinking; why is he playing?

I don’t mean to sound harsh but the U21 league is not the level required to really test top class players. This is why we see more and more clubs loaning players, as they get a better experience and a greater quality of opposition. Jon Toral being a good example. So to make Arthur play given his quality, seemed bizarre.

The more I thought about it, the more I decided that it was to get playing time. He hasn’t played or even made the squad in many games in the last couple of seasons and so the U21 match is a good way to keep fitness up and his game head on.

But if Rowett had no plans to play him this season, then why not send him out on loan? We have Toral and Shinnie who are both fighting for the same place as Koby so we have the cover to allow him to gain experience elsewhere. This would be the logical step to improve him as a player and make sure that we can have a great addition to the squad in future.

The only reason that I could think of as to why he played that U21 match, was that he was going to get games, and soon. Players need matches to get that sharpness that is required to win first balls and to mentally switch on during games. Training alone cannot give you that.

This would suggest that Arthur is being readied to play. Rowett wouldn’t allow him to keep playing for the U21’s and warming the bench as this wouldn’t help towards Koby’s development. If this is the case, then I have doubts that Arthur will ever cement his place in the Blues’ first 11.

 
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