By Harry Sykes
Defender Cohen Bramall has passed an Arsenal medical and will become the club’s first signing of the January window by Thursday night, according to a report.
The Sky Sports website claims the Premier League giants are close to wrapping up a deal that will take the 20-year-old from the seventh tier of English football to the top flight.
It is said that Bramall, who is predominantly a left-back but can also play further forward on the left wing, impressed Arsenal coaches during a trial at the club before Christmas.
The Hednesford player has subsequently been training with Arsenal and Sky report that he has passed a medical and agreed the terms of a two-and-a-half-year contract.
The Gunners will pay Hednesford, who play in the seventh-tier Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, a fee of £40,000 for the youngster.
It is reported that the transfer will be completed by Thursday night.
Arsenal currently use Nacho Monreal as their premier left-back, with England international Kieran Gibbs acting as his understudy.
But Monreal turns 31 within weeks, while Gibbs is in line to leave Emirates Stadium with his contract due to expire next year.
Football Insider verdict:
Top flight clubs picking up players who have dropped down to non-league level has now become increasingly common in English football, with Jamie Vardy and Rickie Lambert the standout examples of players who have made stunning career transformations. Bramall won’t be the player to immediately displace Monreal, while helping the club to end their 12-year wait for a Premier League title. However, he could develop into first team star. All young player signings are risks no matter where they are signed from, but Arsenal have had a good look at Bramall first and decided he is up to the mark. Given the fee involved, he could prove to be a very smart piece of business.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners have lodged a £28million bid for a Juventus player.