Arsenal have won the race to sign French wonderkid Ishmael Bennacer after the north Londoners fended off interest from Premier League rivals for the player’s signature, according to reports.
Bennacer who plays for AC Arles-Avignon has been a subject of ardent attentions from European sides and as per French publication, L’Equipe, Man City appeared to have won the battle for the player’s signature.
The young Frenchman decided to join Manuel Pellegrini’s side after a long pursuit but as L’Equipe reveals, Arsenal stole a march on them at the end and proved to successfully stage a hijack on the deal and now Bennacer has chosen them instead.
Although the report does not say a deal has been signed and a medical passed, the 17-year old attacking midfielder will commit to a five-year contract at the Emirates as Arsenal have apparently won the battle.
The France youth international made seven senior appearances for AC Arles-Avignon last term but could not prevent the French outfit from relegating to the third tier of French football.
It is believed Bennacer will go into the Gunners U-21 squad with a view to challenging for a spot in Arsenal’s first team in the nearest future. According to Metro, the FA Cup champions will be paying £150,000 in compensation for the player.
Bennacer surely represents a good coup for the long term as he would be expected to impress in order to graduate from the youth ranks to become an Arsenal first team member. However, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger needs to keep into consideration not only the future but also the present.
Signing young talents who would go on to be world class beaters makes sense, but the stability of the first team should also be made paramount. The expectation is that Wenger will look to secure the needed signings to propel his team to glory in the upcoming season before embarking on the future recruitment.