By Abigail Withey
Feyenoord development player Joshua Zirkzee is close to completing a move to Arsenal this summer, according to a recent report.
Soccer News has revealed that Arsene Wenger has been successful in the battle for the 16-year-old striker.
According to the Dutch media outlet, the Gunners beat Amsterdam outfit Ajax who were the original frontrunners in the race to secure the starlet.
It is said that Zirkzee’s representatives initially met with Ajax but negotiations were not successful which led the Arsenal’s swoop for the young forward.
The young prospect has moved through the rankings at the Dutch club and in May he made two appearances for the Feyenoord Under 19 squad where he made a vital contribution.
The Dutchman made his debut during the club’s 3-5 penalty defeat against NES Nijmegen at the beginning of May, and continued on to play again just a few weeks later where he scored the winning goal in the club’s 1-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven.
His impressive potential over the past year led to a call up to the Under 16 Dutch international team where he made four appearances for his country’s youth team and netted one goal.
Zirkzee would be Wenger’s third signing of the transfer season after the French manager secured Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer in addition to Alexandre Lacazette in a club record signing.
Football Insider verdict
Arsene Wenger has been known for his development of young players such as Jack Wilshere Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey, and now the French boss looks to replicate this with the Dutch forward. The 16-year-old looks to have serious potential and talent, but it would be unlikely that the Gunners boss will play him in the first team for a while. With new signing Lacazette, in addition to Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck providing Wenger options up front, it would be difficult for the Feyenoord prospect to have a chance in the senior squad. However, the development squad at the north London club is exceptional, and recent youth players including Cohen Bramall, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock have all made their senior squad debuts while on the club’s pre-season tour which suggests that the manager is prepared to give younger players a chance.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the club agrees terms for midfielder’s move.