Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes new Stevenage signing Ben Sheaf "will have a good career" - Five facts about Boro's loan addition
PUBLISHED: 15:24 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:24 26 January 2018
Stevenage have completed the loan signing of Ben Sheaf and CometSport has compiled five facts about the 19-year-old.
Sheaf comes from a very sporting family.
His mother played top-level volleyball and beach volleyball, with Ben’s brother, Jake, following in her footsteps to become a beach volleyball professional.
His father played county level football while his younger brother, Max, was part of the Arsenal youth set up before joining Hull City.
Max fractured his skull in a game for a Tigers XI against Kenyan side the SportPesa All Stars last year but has since made a full recovery.
The 19-year-old made his first-team debut for Arsenal earlier this season, coming on a substitute against Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Europa League.
He clearly impressed Gunners star Alex Iwobi, who praised the youngster in an interview with the club’s official website.
“I’ve seen Ben [Sheaf] play centre-mid and centre back and he looks very comfortable. No matter what position he gets asked to play, he always does his best and he always does well,” he said.
“He’s so comfortable, not just with his right foot but his left foot as well.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also lauded Sheaf, telling the club’s official website that: “He’s always ahead of the game and his anticipation quality is absolutely huge.
“He has that kind of mental strength as well. A typical British way of handling things, facing the difficulties with a very cool and intelligent way.
“There is something in him that I believe will allow him to progress always.
“Because he analyses well what’s happening to him, he assesses well what is going on and that’s why I believe he will have a good career.”
Sheaf’s ability to play in multiple positions could be key for Boro boss Darren Sarll as the club look to climb Sky Bet League Two.
Described as a ‘cultured midfielder’ on Arsenal’s website, he can also play in central defence and at right-back.
Where will Sheaf slot in at the Lamex?
Signed and sealed
If praise from Wenger and Iwobi doesn’t show how highly thought of Sheaf is at the Emirates, signing two contracts at the club in 2017 might.
The 19-year-old signed a new deal in both January and December last year as the youngster continues to impress for the club.
Sheaf made his debut for the England U18 side back in 2015 in a double-header against the Netherlands, scoring from the penalty spot in a 2-0 win and playing 45 minutes in the second game.
He also two appearances for the U16 side.