Arsenal looking to pinch Everton U23 starlet Ryan Astley

Arsenal are looking to take advantage of Ryan Astley’s lack of an offer from Everton by swooping to snatch the U23 ace, according to¬†The Mirror.

What’s the word?

North London has been a hotbed of young talent for years and fans of Arsenal have been treated to seeing the likes of Emile Smith-Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles break into the first-team in recent years.

While attacking aces continue to pour out of London Colney, the Gunners have arguably not had a top-class defender emerge from their academy since Ashley Cole but it appears the club have an ace up their sleeve.

The Daily Mirror states that Arsenal are amongst the clubs eyeing a swoop for Everton U23 starlet Ryan Astley, who turns 17 next month and has not yet been offered a professional deal by the Merseyside giants.

What can he offer?

Arsenal’s defensive line continues to be frail with Laurent Koscielny joined on the sidelines by Sokratis Papastathopoulos, while the Gunners have also kept just one clean sheet across all competitions so far this season.

16-year-old Astley is clearly not the immediate solution to that issue but it would present Arsenal with a route towards stability in the future, with the likes of Calum Chambers, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding the next in line to become regulars.

Astley would be some way off joining that trio in the first-team but, if he continues to develop at the pace he has shown so far he could stand as the successor to that trio, with a key part of negotiations being how Arsenal can provide the talent with a route to the first-team.