Arsenal are joined by Watford and bitter rivals, Tottenham Hotspur in the pursuit of highly rated League Two centre-half, Ben Wilmot. The 18-year-old has been inviting high praise from fans and pundits alike by showing great maturity and composure on the defensive end.
The 6 feet 2 inches Englishman currently plays for his hometown club, Stevenage and has racked up 14 appearances this season, across all competitions. The chairman of the club, Phil Wallace said he was ‘a defender that will play at the highest level’ in his programme notes.
Manager, Darren Sarll said that Wilmot reminded him of West Ham target Alfie Mawson, who he brought into Brentford when he was youth team manager. The Boro head coach was quoted, “He didn’t look 18, did he? He’s got a reading of the game, and an intelligence. I was very lucky at Brentford that I recruited a young man called Alfie Mawson, who’d been released from Reading.”
“They have a very similar compatibility between them as players and people. Both have got a fantastic desire. Alfie has gone on to play at the very top and for his country (at Under-21 level). Listen, regardless of whether Ben plays for his country or not, I think he’ll play at the very top.”
It is quite clear as to why clubs from the top-division would take an interest in this young man. Wilmot has shown signs of future stardom which can be nurtured by training alongside better players.
There always are youngsters in the lower divisions who catch the eye of scouts every now and then, but very few cases manage to earn themselves the illustrious move by showing up on a consistent basis.
Ryan Sessegnon is one of the other names who is pegged to appear in an England shirt someday in the future and Wilmot can partner up with him. However, is Arsenal the right destination for him at this juncture of his career?
Granted his performances have been nothing short of brilliant in recent times but the 18-year-old still needs to prove his worth beyond this season. It is easy to get caught up in the hype and lose focus on the ultimate end goal – be a top player in the best league of the world.
Arsenal currently already have youth representation on the defensive end through Rob Holding and Calum Chambers. The duo is finding it hard to match the standards of the North London club but the senior partnering of Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi has not been much of an improvement either.
Wilmot is better off either biding his time with the League Two outfit or considering the options of other interested parties.
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