Arsenal have completed the capture of talented French starlet Ismael Bennacer, with the youngster having been pictured putting pen to paper on a contract for the Gunners.
Recent reports have detailed how the 17-year-old was being chased by both Arsenal and Manchester City, but images have surfaced appearing to confirm that he’s opted to pledge his future to the former.
Arsenal's successful hijack
The ex-Arles-Avignon man was believed to have been previously offered the chance to join Patrick Vieira’s elite development squad at City, with a deal close to being finalised to take him to Manchester.
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Fortunately the Gunners got wind of said proposal and were able to hijack the deal, with Bennacer now an Arsenal man.
According to rumour the north London giants will pay just £150,000 in compensation for the prodigal midfielder, which isn’t much at all in the grand scheme of things.
The development continues
Should Bennacer develop as expected and find a route to the first-team he’ll have been a very smart purchase indeed, though he’ll obviously have to prove himself in the U21 setup first.
The assumption is that he’ll be able to handle the youth leagues at Arsenal without breaking too much of a sweat, particularly as he was playing first-team football for Avignon last term - they play in Ligue 2 in France.
The starlet made six appearances overall for the club despite his tender age, impressing a series of scouts from England along the way.
What’s more, Bennacers’ arrival is sure to sate the appetite of those calling for a continuation of Arsene Wenger’s fabled young production line.
Young production line
Four talented youngsters have already signed for the Emirates Stadium outfit this summer, with Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Yassin Fortune and Donyell Malen preceding Bennacer’s move to north London at earlier points this transfer window.
The latter was the last through the door but it’s the former who has thus far stolen the attention at Arsenal. Reine-Adelaide’s outing in the pre-season friendly against VfL Wolfsburg was enough to get fans and critics alike raving, with his assist for Theo Walcott providing the only goal of the game.
Arsenal fans, are you happy Wenger is still keeping a watchful eye out for young talent? Let us know what you think of the Bennacer deal in the comments box below.