Carl Jenkinson hopes to become Arsenal's new Tony Adams after the young defender completed a dream move to his boyhood club.
The Harlow-born Finland Under-19 international became Arsene Wenger's first summer signing following a £1million move from Charlton.
Jenkinson, who qualifies for dual nationality through his mother, can play anywhere along the backline and although he may not be the big transfer many Gunners fans crave, the youngster has every intention to write his own name into the club's folklore. "My dad brought me up as an Arsenal fan and I have been going since I was young," he told Arsenal Player.
"I even went to a few games last season. It is all a bit surreal, but it is a brilliant feeling to be here and I am really excited by it. I was always a big fan of Tony Adams and I am reading his book at the moment. He was always someone I looked at as a great player and a great leader.
"He is a player I can learn a lot from and I will be looking to follow in his footsteps."
Wenger's track record of allowing young talent a taste of first-team action was another reason Jenkinson did not hesitate to join Arsenal.
"It is up to me to prove myself, but I know if I can, I will be given a chance," he said. "I owe Charlton a lot, with the way they have developed me as a player. I have still got a lot to learn, and now I am at the best place to do that.
"The plan now is for me to go away with the first team in pre-season and I am looking forward to it. It is up to me to prove myself, to stake my claim to be a first-team player and that I can be fighting to bring success next season."
Wenger may have missed out on England Under-21 defender Phil Jones, who looks set to move to Manchester United, but a £12million deal for Southampton starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to be confirmed at the start of July.
Arsenal, though, will also target experience during the summer, with Blackburn defender Christopher Samba widely reported to be close to completing a £9million move to the Emirates Stadium. Lille's 20-year-old Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, rated at some £20million, and their Ivory Coast forward Gervinho are another pair said to be on Wenger's radar.
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