Joel Lopez has made a bold decision to join Arsenal but it could pay off

Barcelona wonderkid Joel Lopez has turned down an offer of a contract with the Spanish giants and is set to join Arsenal according to The Mirror.

What’s the story?

The 15-year-old has been part of the famous Barcelona academy La Masia for seven years, which has seen the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Carles Puyol pass through its doors.

However, the defender has decided against following in the paths of those Barcelona legends and has instead opted to move to Arsenal where he feels first-team opportunities will arise more quickly.

Lopez turns 16 next year and will sign a schoolboy contract first before he can sign a professional one, and will be playing under new academy coach Per Mertesacker.

One to watch

We may not see Lopez don an Arsenal shirt for some time but he is clearly very highly rated if he was the centre of a tussle between the Gunners and Barcelona.

He will hope to emulate Cesc Fabregas and Hector Bellerin who made the same journey at a young age, and if all goes to plan, Lopez could be a real star of the future for Arsenal.