Although the only senior player to arrive at Arsenal this summer was Petr Cech, the Gunners have been busy bringing in lots of highly-rated young stars to be taught “The Arsenal Way” via the Academy.
The Gunners brought in Krystian Bielik in the New Year and added some great prospects in Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Yassin Fortune, Kostas Pileas, Vlad Dragomir, Donyell Malen and Jordi Osei-Tutu over the course of this transfer window, and now the 17 year-old Ismael Bennacer has been confirmed as signing a five year contract with Arsenal.
He has been playing in the French Third tier with AC Arles-Avignon, but it has been rumoured that Manchester City were favourites to sign him before Arsenal stepped in.
The youngster himself has now announced his move in the Express, and admitted that he was a bit overawed when he saw the size of Arsenal’s operations. “That is what made me a little scared at the beginning, but when I saw the condition of the training centre, I realised that there isn’t a better place for me to progress.
“It is up to me to prove myself, they gave me a five-year contract so they must have confidence in me.”
Arsenal seem to be stepping up their search for young talent even more than usual as prices rise to astronomical numbers for proven performers. This has been justified with the emergence of Hector Bellerin last season, and Chuba Akpom, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Alex Iwobi impressed in this pre-season too. Gideon Zelalem has also been highly praised this summer to add to the wealth of talent in our reserve sides. If all these players live up to their promise then Wenger may give up buying any established stars in the future!