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Arsenal sign Argentine goalkeeper, plus Roberts and Ebecilio and maybe Barca’s Assulin



By Tony Attwood

Through a special arrangement with the excellent Young Guns web site, Untold can now bring you the in-depth news concerning our latest youth signings.

You might remember (if you were paying attention that is) that I went into a spin after Arsenal became the first team to retain the Academy title, and indeed the first to win three trophies in two years – and I believe the Youth Project as some call it, is a central part of Arsenal’s future.

The great thing about our youth system is that with the very best youth players coming through the Youth-Reserves-Loan system we can suddenly get moments such as that at the end of last season where Lansbury appears firing on every cylinder (plus a few more).   But always we need to be bringing in more players for the future – and that’s exactly what is going on.

So thanks to Young Guns here’s the first news of the season.

Arsenal have signed Dutch Under 17 international Kyle Ebecilio. He’s a 16-year-old attacking midfielder will join from Feyenoord on July 1st.  The story is that he was going to go to the KGB in Fulham, what with him being the cousin of their defender Jeffrey Bruma, but he took a peek at Arsenal and changed his mind.

Arsenal have also signed Norwich City striker Philip Roberts. Although born in England he’s an Ireland Under 17 international has been transferred on scholarship terms after his arrangements at Carrow Road expired.  He had a trial with Arsenal towards the end of last season.  It is said that he can play either down the middle as a target man, or as a wide forward.  And he’s got pace (but you would hardly expect otherwise.)

That makes a fair sized Irish contingent playing for Arsenal including Conor Henderson, Sean McDermott, Callum Webb, Ben Glasgow and Steven Smith.

He scored on his debut for Ireland’s under 16s and on his debut for Arsenal in his trial period, as well as scoring against Juve in the Ferolli Cup.

Young Guns view is that, “Comparisons in playing style with Aston Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor are very easy to make, but with the ability to hold the ball up and be dominant in the air, Philip Roberts is added to the collection of promising strikers within the Academy.”

Lastly, Barcelona midfielder Gai Assulin has been offered to Arsenal by the agent Pini Zahavi. The Israel international becomes a free agent at the end of the month, and the player’s father has broken off talks with Barca.

In a situation that sounds rather familiar to the one that brought Cesc to us, Young Guns says, “Assulin is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in world football, but his development has hit the buffers over the last 12 months. Coach Josep Guardiola has failed to live up to promises of game time, instead promoting Barça B team-mates Jonathon Dos Santos and Thiago Alcántara.”

But this is not a done deal as the agent is also said to be talking to clubs in Manchester, although one can’t imagine why since one is bankrupt beyond belief and the other is a perfect exponent of Prefabricated Football.

Spanish daily paper ‘Sport’  has said that both Arsenal and Manchester Prefab have offered contracts.  The player is expected to make a decision shortly.

Assulin can play on either wing or in central midfield and has played full back for his country.  In recent months he’s impressed playing on the right and left of a 4-3-3, scoring and creating a selection of excellent goals. Gai has also won comparisons to colleague Lionel Messi, for their similar silky attacking style.

Last of all on the transfers…

Arsenal have been granted a work permit for Argentinian goalkeeper Emilio Damián Martínez. The 17-year-old, who will be first-choice for the Under 18’s next season, will now be available for selection from July 1st.

According to Young Guns Martínez joined us following a trial last August.   After remaining with Independiente, he spent the final months of the season with Arsenal pending the permit.

He is first choice for Argentina at Under 17 level, and respected goalkeeping coach Miguel Angel Santoro joined Damián at London Colney during his trial. An incentive based £1.3 million contract has been agreed.

And just in case you remember that hoax story about Arsenal signing an Argentine goalkeeper, flying him over and finding he is only 5’8″, this guy is  6′3″ and has already played 45 minutes against Colorado Rapids at London Colney in March.

Loan News

FC Lorient are in talks with Arsenal over a season-long-loan deal for Francis Coquelin.   Arsenal are also talking to the club about centre back Laurent Koscielny, although the two deals are not connected.

Coquelin  joined Arsenal from Stade Lavallois two summers ago, and despite a rapid development, (and endless praise within the esteemed pages of Untold Arsenal) the emergence of Craig Eastmond has limited first-team exposure.  Coquelin has had some cup experience and is a regular in the reserves with Coquelin playing both holding midfield and full back.   Sheffield United and Reading have also held tentative interest in Coquelin.

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21 comments to Arsenal sign Argentine goalkeeper, plus Roberts and Ebecilio and maybe Barca’s Assulin

  • DarkPrince

    Good article. In a way dont you think that our youth academy is getting a bit over-crowded?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Mcdermott apparently signed professional forms with Arsenal yesterday according to the website…..

  • walter

    Nice to see we keep on working on the future to come in a few years.

    The harder the competition the better the harvest will be I think. And when at such a young age you face a lot of competition already you know you have to work hard to get there. An attitude that could bring benefit for the rest of your career and to the Arsenal in the long run.

  • sambuca

    how can you that our academy is getting overcrowded when we released half a dozen players!!!Assulin is regarded as one of the best players in the barca b teams, and by admiration he would be a great signing!

  • rajin

    wenger we want the changes right now the upcoming season.if u r going to sign those youths and no any change in the first team,we are going to have same routine of our previous seasons.please shock the world by making a great transfer

  • FEDDA

    @rajin.

    First team and youth signings are two very different stories.
    Wenger probably knew back at christmas what and who he wants for the first team. He never panics, and never does any panic signings.

    With the WC2010 coming up I don’t expect much to happen.

  • Ryan

    Good luck to the kids. It will be great when more of our current kids make the top grade. With any luck Lansbury wilshere eastmond etc can make it all the way.

  • damon

    I was reading the comments and yet again we have to share this site with people that have no foresight. It seems to pass most people by that without AW having a long term plan in the future of our club we wouldnt even have to worry about keeping hold of cesc, we just would never have signed him.

  • afc1886

    Arshavin was a panic signing, had we been in a better league position last season we wouldn’t have got him, besides him Wenger never panic buys, I trust in him to deliver, however he should up his efforts in trying to renew Campbell’s contract.

  • Blejs

    people all need to reliase the new UEFA rules, where you need to have your own products in the squad. And that means they had to play in the club 3 or 4 years(dont remember). Before they hit 21y. Or perhaps it was even untill they are 21years old.

  • soulrebel

    Love the ‘youth project’. Obviously want some exerience in defence for the 1st team but the dream is to win it all with playes who have grown up at Arsenal. You get a batch like Barca’s and your laughing.

  • Gooner1234

    Imagine iF wenger bought hazzard and Assulin! It would be like ronaldo and messi in attack for the future!
    Any way wenger get some top class players for the first team prove that we can compete in transfers with the big clubs.
    In wenger we trust!

  • Mr Gooner

    Mr Wenger pls get Assulin as fast as you can because that kid will be another Messi soon and pls get some new defenders to enable us challenge trophies next season.

  • 8 inch knob

    Assulin is good but Hazard is better despite the huge price tag on his head.

    Also Assulin is Israeli Jewish and that won’t go down well the the muslim players at Arsenal. I can see him being an outcast.

  • Dec

    Knob by name, knob by …………..
    what can one say?

    Roll on August when the real stuff starts again.

  • champion

    well in my opinion, i think it is all well and good buying all these young players for the future, but we are in the present and we need to improve our first team first. i know wengers always been for the youth, but you cant always do that and arsenal are seriously in need of some big names for the upcoming seaon, ecpecially defensively. so once hes solved the problems of the first team, he can focus on building a super strong side for the future.

  • eduardo

    None of our Irish youth internationals Philip Roberts, Conor Henderson, Sean McDermott, Callum Webb, Ben Glasgow and Steven Smith were born in Ireland, mcdermott was born in norway and the rest in england.

    People may not realise this, but the new homegrown rule has already led to Arsenal and other FAPL clubs signing more foreign youths, not less as the media falsely predicted would happen, as the stupid media seen the word homegrown and though it would mean english, they never actually read the rules, stupid muppets

    as for the academy being overcrowded, well you have to kiss alot of frogs to find your prince

  • Kerink

    agree with 8 inch knob..
    we have muslim player in rvp, diaby, silvestre..
    arrival of assulin will bring disharmony to the squad..

  • Husein

    Why woulnt the Academy be over crowed, Weneger is not using is Brain because he as to focus on the main team by by good players for next season but he keeps moving up and down looking for cheap players and i dont think Weneger is going to sign any defender because his not sure if the old folks will want to leave…. Campell, Gallas,Slyvester

  • dozie paul

    mr wenger, sign a matured good player, so dat can win laurel net season.

  • Phil

    The greater competition the better. Wenger is an economist, so competition theory (economic survival of the fittest) seems apt.