Is there any manager in football history better at scouting players than Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger? I think not and with the recent news of Arsenal’s latest signing, it looks like the Frenchman may have done it again with the capture of Jon Miquel Toral Harper. The half Spanish, half English 16 year old is part of Barcelona’s youth team just like Arsenal’s captain, Cesc Fabregas, who signed in similar circumstances in 2003. Has Wenger found another gem?
Judging by the video compilation that’s been circling the web this week, Toral Harper looks to be a very good prospect for the Gunners once he joins in the summer. Wenger has taken advantage of the rule that Spanish clubs cannot sign players on a permanent contract until the age of 17 and the deal hasn’t helped relations with Barcelona. The Barca president Sandro Rosell said the deal was “immoral” but with the double standards involved in today’s game such comments can’t be taken too seriously, after all Wenger hasn’t done anything illegal. Ironically, the agent of the lanky 16 year old midfielder is none other than Pepe Guardiola’s brother!
Although the trophyless seasons of late for Arsenal have been a big talking point, you can’t question the job Arsene Wenger has done at the club. Since that remarkable unbeaten season, Wenger has had to go about rebuilding for the next Arsenal squad for the future and this could be the year that the Frenchman can say it was well worth it. Toral Harper joins a list of youngsters at Arsenal who are full of potential; even more so that the current squad of players were at their age. Could Wenger be creating a 3rd generation squad that will be better than the rest?
I for one wouldn’t dismiss that, as I can imagine an Arsenal team in the next decade having more in comparison with Barcelona, with the majority of the team coming from the youth set up. Players like Toral Harper and Fabregas still count as the same can be said about Lionel Messi in regards to scouring the globe for youngsters. One thing is for sure, Arsene Wenger will be leaving a legacy behind at Arsenal Football Club and as a huge football fan I look forward to see what new players make the grade over the next several years.