By Matt Farr
Arsenal have expressed an interest in signing highly-rated Wimbledon full-back Toby Sibbick, according to a report.
The Gunners have twice raided the lower leagues for upcoming defensive talent this season, signing Rob Holding from Bolton in the summer, as well as announcing on Tuesday that they had secured the signing of Cohen Bramall from Hednesford Town.
The Sun claim Arsene Wenger plans on dropping down the leagues yet again in pursuit of Toby Sibbick from League Two outfit AFC Wimbledon.
That’s right, it’s official
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 10, 2017
The 17-year-old right-back has drawn comparison to current Bournemouth full-back Tyrone Mings, who rose to prominence in the lower leagues with Ipswich before making the jump to the Premier League.
Sibbick only recently landed a professional deal with Wimbledon, a reward for his impressive form in the past year, where he starred during the club’s FA Youth Cup run to the last-16 in the 2015-16 campaign.
He has since been promoted to the development squad, where has continued his excellent work, and caught the eye of Arsenal boss Wenger.
Premier League rivals West Ham and Watford are also said to monitoring Sibbick.
The young defender would be another versatile defensive option for Wenger, as he can play in the centre as well his primary position on the right side of defence.
Sibbick is expected to feature for Wimbledon in the FA Youth Cup clash against Hull on Tuesday night.
Football Insider verdict
Arsene Wenger does have an eye for young, upcoming talent; so it is perhaps a good thing if Siddick has caught the eye of the Arsenal boss. However, the biggest concern for Arsenal fans may be Wenger’s insistence on scouting the lower leagues for future talent, when he should be focusing on improving the first-team squad this month. The Gunners have a number of injury concerns to contend with, particularly in midfield, and face a tough battle to keep their Premier League titles hopes alive in the coming weeks. Focusing their attention on already proven talent could help them stake their claim for the title, rather than planning ahead. Sibbick may well be a Premier League star of the future, and could prove to be a worthy addition; but the Gunners boss must focus on the present.
In other Arsenal news, former Gunners midfielder Samir Nasri has revealed why Arsenal can’t win the Premier League.