This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to TEAMtalk, Arsenal are in the race to sign Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele but face stiff competition for his signature.
What’s the word?
Dembele, 16, has been on the scouting list of many top European clubs since the age of 13 after making his debut for the Celtic U20s, per Sky Sports.
Some of Europe’s top clubs including Juventus, Paris-Saint Germain and Borussia Dortmund are all keen to swoop in and secure Dembele as their own.
However, with Arsenal’s connections with Celtic after recently securing a deal for Kieran Tierney, the Gunners are hopeful they can use their strong relationship to come to an agreement for Dembele, according to TEAMtalk.
Dutch legend Ruud Gullit described the youngster as “exceptionally good” after watching a Youtube montage of him in action, per The Independent.
After making his first-team debut for Celtic during their 2-1 win over Hearts in May, Dembele is yet to make another appearance for the Hoops as the youngster patiently awaits his next opportunity.
Youth policy prioritised
Since Unai Emery arrived at the Emirates, his immediate priority has been the promotion and progression of youth players at London Colney. This has been evident with the emergence and regular first-team appearances for Joe Willock, Rob Holding, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka in recent weeks.
Emery’s Sevilla sides of old would often form structures in the midfield that were designed to press the ball without leaving gaps and provide quicker transitions in attack, per Outside of the Boot.
Players like Saka, 18, fit the system with his high work rate and eye for goal, illustrated during both Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt and 1-1 draw against Manchester United.
The manager is identifying players that he believes can work in his unique system and individuals that can come in and play the way that he wants to implement.
With Dembele’s future up in the air, Arsenal fans can feel reassured that their manager is focusing on the next five to 10 years at the club and putting the appropriate foundations in place for the team to benefit going forward. Dembele will be a difficult deal to get over the line.
However, if Arsenal want him, they will likely have to break the bank to get him. It’ll be interesting to see if they put up the funds for someone so young.