Liverpool have completed the signing of former Arsenal prodigy Elijah Dixon-Bonner, with the teenager rejected the chance to remain with the Gunners and sign an extension.
The promising youngster took to Instagram the share the news that he had pledged his future to the Anfield club, posing with a contract and a Liverpool shirt.
Reports claim that he’d already been offered the chance to stay with Arsenal, having impressed in their youth setup last season, but the interest in continuing his development in north London clearly wasn’t reciprocated.
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The 16-year-old is tipped to have a bright future in the game, though as football fans have seen in plenty of instances before that might mean very little if he doesn’t knuckle down and focus on keeping his attentions on the pitch.
That said Liverpool have a decent track record when it comes to bringing through potential future stars, which could be one of the reasons behind Dixon-Bonner’s decision, and with Steven Gerrard’s exit the club are certainly facing a transitional period in the foreseeable future, making theirs’ an exciting project to be attached to.
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Taking a risk
For Arsenal it will no doubt be a blow as they’re busy restructuring their youth approach under academy chief Andries Jonker.
If the midfielder is as gifted as the mainstream media infer then it makes sense that they would have wanted to keep hold of him, hence the contract offer they placed on the table.
What’s more Arsene Wenger is a known advocate of promoting youth when and where he feels necessary, meaning Dixon-Bonner’s choice represents something of a risk.
It stands to reason that the relevant coaches with the Gunners knew of the player’s potential for the future, and he might well have been watched carefully by Wenger as he moved up the pecking order in north London.
Of course by that same metric it can be said that Brendan Rodgers must be interested to some degree.
The fact that Liverpool have purchased him - they’ll likely pay a nominal compensation fee - is testament to the idea that they’re keen to see him become a success at their club, and it could well be that he’s given pride of place in their academy following his move north.
Liverpool fans, Arsenal fans, what do you think of your respective clubs’ transfer moves so far? Let us know in the comments box below.