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Report: Arsenal lead race for teenage wonderkid; could sign him for next to nothing

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According to a report from The Sun, Arsenal are leading the race to sign Bournemouth’s teenage winger Ajani Burchall.

The Gunners have a tremendous history of developing young players and academy head Per Mertesacker has been making huge strides behind the scenes over the last year.

Arsenal signed exciting talents like George Lewis, Nikolaj Moller and Omar Rekik recently. If the report is to believed, we are looking to bring in another incredible young talent who is just 16 years old.

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Burchall made his senior debut in December when he came on in Bournemouth’s 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield Town in the Championship. He became the club’s third-youngest ever player, and many around the Vitality feel he has a bright future.

The report claims that Burchall has rejected a scholarship deal at Bournemouth. It is looking likely that he will leave in the summer and Arsenal are leading a number of clubs in the race for his signature.

As he is only 16, Bournemouth cannot tie him down to a professional contract just yet. However, if he decides to leave, the Cherries will be owed a compensation and that fee will not be much, which means that Arsenal can sign him for next to nothing this summer.

Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Arsenal Insider’s view:

It’s very difficult to judge how good a player can be when he is just 16 years of age. However, if he is good enough to get himself a senior appearance at Championship level, he must be doing something right.

Arsenal’s academy is one of the finest in the country. We’ve seen how well the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are doing, while someone like Hector Bellerin – who joined the academy from a different club – has shown he can make it at the top level as well.

If Arsenal really are interested in the rapid Bermudan winger, Mertesacker must have seen something really special in him.

It will not be easy to lure him in as a number of Premier League sides are reportedly keen. However, when a manager like Mikel Arteta is showing time and again that he isn’t afraid to give chances to youngsters, convincing a young talent to join the club becomes a lot easier.

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