Arsenal have this afternoon confirmed a deal that sees Spanish defender Julio Pleguezuelo sign professional terms with the Premier League outfit, after impressing this season in the Gunners academy setup.
Pleguezuelo joined the club as a trainee from Barcelona last summer, with Arsenal managing to persuade the Spain youth international that his development would be best served following in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas, who made the same move during his formative years.
The 17-year-old has featured at right-back and centre-back during his first season in England, while also facing his former side Barca during Arsenal's run to the UEFA Youth League quarter-finals.
With Arsenal attempting to implement change across Academy levels after hiring Win Jonker to take Liam Brady's place as youth chief places in the youth setup will come under intense scrutiny, which shows the faith Arsenal have in their latest international recruit.
For now attention at youth international in the Arsenal camp is on an FA Youth Cup semi-final tie with Chelsea that hangs in the balance, with the first leg at Stamford Bridge last night ending in a 2-1 win for the Blues.
Arsenal host the return decider at the Emirates on Thursday April 17, with Pleguezuelo on the fringes of featuring in that clash thanks to a strong first season as a Gunner, a deal now formalised with a pro deal.