The Wonderkid Files: Jamie Bynoe-Gittens - £26m Arsenal target with the world at his feet

A scouting report on Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, the teenage Arsenal target who’s becoming the latest Englishman to make waves at Borussia Dortmund.
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First Jadon Sancho, then Jude Bellingham – and now Jamie Bynoe-Gittens could become the latest young Englishman to move to Borussia Dortmund to seek his fortune, and end up being worth one. Arsenal are reported to be interested in a £26m move for the 19-year-old, and it’s pretty easy to see why once you watch the tape.

Born in London, Bynoe-Gittens spent time with Chelsea and Reading’s academies before moving to Manchester City in 2018. Two years later, he followed Sancho’s road to Dortmund, breaking into the first team in 2022 despite a bad ligament injury that sidelined him for several months shortly after arriving in Germany and scoring his first goal in a 3-1 win against Freiburg last August. He has not looked back since.

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens is the latest young English player to play for Borussia Dortmund Jamie Bynoe-Gittens is the latest young English player to play for Borussia Dortmund
Jamie Bynoe-Gittens is the latest young English player to play for Borussia Dortmund
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While his career path has drawn inevitable and somewhat lazy comparisons with Sancho and Bellingham, only the former really stacks up against any kind of meaningful analysis. Bynoe-Gittens is a right-footed winger who primarily plays on the left, cutting inside, but is so good with his supposedly weaker left foot that he can play on both flanks almost interchangeably.

The first thing that really stands out about him is his trickery and the speed of his feet. His darting runs between defenders often come with lightning-speed stepovers and changes of direction that either draw fouls or simply leave defenders standing. Very few players can get their feet moving at the same kind of pace as Bynoe-Gittens, and it makes watching him and electrifying experience.

He’s also got a fierce shot on him and, unlike so many young wingers with similar skillsets, he has a good track record of making the right decisions when given some time and space with the ball – although he can be hurried into errors if he gets caught flat-footed. That, at least, is not an especially common event.

Another way in which he stands out from the template of the modern young inside-forward is that his starting positions tend to be much wider, giving him more room to run at defenders rather than setting himself up for quick passing moves down the channels. He’s also a high-volume shooter, looking for openings to let fly on his right once he’s worked his way past a defender, a little like Arjen Robben – but the way he uses his close control and quick feet to keep defenders guessing and earn free-kicks resembles Jack Grealish more than anything.

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If that also makes Bynoe-Gittens sound a little selfish, that’s probably unfair – he isn’t unwilling to pass the ball, it just isn’t one of his strengths, and his passing accuracy, especially over distance, leaves something to be desired. He demonstrates his lack of ego and willing to knuckle down for the team rather better in his tracking back and his pressing.

The only other significant weakness he has is his physicality. Standing under 5’9” and unlikely to weigh too much more than a damp towel, Bynoe-Gittens can get knocked around by bigger defenders, which probably explains a lot about the way he looks to draw fouls and also why he can be flustered into making errors when he doesn’t have full control of the ball. Still, he wouldn’t be the first diminutive forward to make a career for himself…

Bynoe-Gitten’s minutes have largely come from the bench and he’s still behind players like Karim Adeyimi in Dortmund’s pecking order, but like so many gifted youngsters the German club take on, it doesn’t seem to be hindering his development. He’s also getting plenty of work in at youth international level, winning the European Under-19 Championship in 2022 and getting his first cap for England Under-21s in a qualifying game against Luxembourg this September. He has been with England since the Under-15s, and has no shortage of admirers at St. George’s Park.

Arsenal’s interest, which is presumed to be for a move next summer, is easy to explain when you look at his pace, trickery, skill and intelligent use of the ball – but he isn’t quite ready to be a regular starter at a top club, and is perhaps one more good season of solid minutes or a well-placed loan move away from getting that extra experience he needs. A little time in the weight room wouldn’t kill him, either. But if he continues his steady upward trajectory and gets the right coaching and mentorship – whether that’s at Arsenal or at Signal Iduna Park – he looks like he could be a very big prospect indeed. Come back in two or three years, and he could easily be in the England squad.

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