Medy Elito should be making the most of his footballing experiences to seal a first-team place with Colchester United by the end of the season.

That is the view of former U's and Arsenal winger Perry Groves.

Elito is in line to make his England under-18 debut against Ghana tonight, at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium.

The 17-year-old winger, who turned professional earlier this year, is said to have already attracted interest from Premier League clubs but is yet to make his first team debut with Colchester.

But Groves, who made his U's debut as a 16-year-old before going on to make nearly 150 appearances for the club, feels the youngster is heading in the right direction.

Groves told the Gazette: "If you're at a big club you can get swallowed up in their academy, youth and then reserve teams.

"But if you're good enough, you will come through.

"I played what I call real football in the old fourth division with Colchester and I don't think there are enough players who want to learn in the lower leagues now.

"I know manager George (Geraint) Williams fairly well and Steve Downey (Head of Youth Development) and they both want to see the game played in the right way.

"Medy will be taught good habits and if he has the tools, I'm sure he can do well."