Date of Birth: November 6th 1990
Place of Birth: Sussex, England
Previous Club(s): None
Rhys Murphy can finish. Blessed with the natural ability to put the ball in the back of the net, Rhys is a prolific goalscorer at youth levels who surely would have made an impact at a higher level if not for a spate of injuries since becoming a scholar which have threatened to derail his development.
His first scholarship season saw the goals flow, using his searing pace and intelligent positioning to pile up the goals against all opponents. At the end of the season he featured successfully in the European Under-17 Championships and the following Under-17 World Cup, but it may well have been those tournaments and the lack of a free off-season where the problems began. Despite scoring upon his return to domestic duties, he suffered a serious hernia injury which sidelined him for four months of the 07/08 season.
He returned towards the end of the year to give the Gunners a much-needed finisher in an increasingly goal-shy team, notching twice against Derby for Neil Banfield’s Reserve team. He has everything you would want in a striker, and the added bonus of pace to scare defenders and the ability to poach, which can’t be taught. If he can overcome injuries, he can go far.
Unfortunately for Rhys, 08/09 wasn’t to be injury-free either. Reaching double-figures in goals and playing a key part in Arsenal’s deep run in the FA Youth Cup was countered by a broken ankle which kept him out for another considerable stretch of time. After starting the year by signing professional terms, the season went downhill before picking up again towards the end. He’ll be hoping the trend continues upwards and onwards from now on.