Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Arsenal Land Highly Rated Defensive Ace From Barcelona: Where Can He Fit Into Emery’s Future Plans?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Latest reports confirm that Arsenal have successfully managed to pry highly-rated youngster, Joel Lopez away from Barcelona. The 17-year-old released an official goodbye to his followers on social media. He was quoted, “The day has come to say goodbye to what has been my home these last 7 years. Thanks to Barcelona, it will be the club that I always carry in my heart for wonderful moments that I have lived with my friends, coaches, delegates, executives.”

“Magnificent people who have made me feel welcome from the first day. It was a difficult decision but after contemplating it with my family I made the decision to go and start a new stage as a footballer with great enthusiasm. Thanks to all who have been there always Visca Barca!”

The fullback has now joined in behind Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida, Jon Toral, Julio Pleguezuelo and Hector Bellerin to make a switch to Arsenal while he is still an academy player. He will join the Per Mertesacker’s U18 side at the Emirates on a scholarship deal with a professional contract pending for when he turns 17 next March.

He is Arsenal’s latest youth addition next to Sam Greenwood from Sunderland and Karl Jakob Hein from Nomme United. There is no telling to how far Lopez can go in the Arsenal ranks but the U23s does not seem to be out of his reach at the moment. 

The teenager is a high pedigree talent and is due to fill in as a necessary addition following Dominic Thompson’s promotion to the club’s U23 side. Lopez is technically skilled and brings the similar type of offensive work ethic as seen in modern-day fullbacks.

In this upcoming season, he is expected to represent Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup and also the U21 side for the Checkatrade Trophy. The youngster will be hoping to graduate from the club’s youth ranks just like his Fabregas and Bellerin.

The latter is currently one of the crucial figures in the Gunners ranks and is also a cemented starter at right-back. Arsenal have been overall busy in the transfer market both for the senior and youth squad.

Read More: Veteran Arsenal Custodian Offered Back To Chelsea Amidst Courtois Rumours: Should Emery Let Him Go?

Unai Emery has taken charge of the North London outfit to succeed into the shoes of Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign. Just like the Frenchman, the new head coach will have to pay close attention to the club’s rising stars if he is to cement his place.

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