Rumor has it that Arsenal are set to kick off their spending in the January transfer window by bring highly rated 15 year-old Gillingham player Luke Freeman to the club. Arsene Wenger announced in Fridays press conference that he is set to make the star an Arsenal player.
“I met the boy and I like him. He has personality and he looks alert. He’s a striker and to play in a first team at 15 years of age is something special.We were quite well on the case and we are very positive that we will find an agreement with the club without going to compensation. We will pay them a transfer.”
So who is he? Well as I already said he is a highly rated 15 year-old who has already been capped at senior level which of course was a record. Aswell as being Gillingham”s youngest ever senior he was also the youngest ever in the FA Cup proper.
That itself is a big achievement and it is no surprise that we are not the only team in for this talented kid. Interest from Premiership sides Newcastle and West Ham means that there is a lot of competition for clubs looking to seal his signature.
Signed by Charlton at a very early age Freeman was released at the tender age of eleven and went to his current club Gillingham and since then he has grown form strength to strength. He would join a number of quality young Englishmen if he was to choose Arsenal. The likes of Henri Lansbuary, Marc Randall, Justin Hoyte, Gavin Hoyte and of course Theo Walcott are all young players on the fringe if the first team or playing in in the youth setup at Arsenal.
And Wenger knows he is a special talent. How often do you see “le boss” say that he is about to sign someone. Wenger who signed Jermaine Pennant as a 15 year-old for £2 million pounds from Notts County had a lot of praise for Freeman and hopes that a deal can be agreed by a transfer fee and not compensation.
He would not join just young Englishmen at Arsenal of course. We are producing youngsters from all over the globe at Arsenal and the sad thing is that they will not all make it it. Question is if Freeman comes to Arsenal and even though he has a huge reputation it does not mean he will succeed. The question on Gooners” lips will be this. “Will he be another Jermaine Pennant?” That remains to be seen. But I would defenetley wait a long while before he is introduced to first team matters as it is possible Theo was introduced too soon and it is fair to be said that he has not made it yet.
Gillingham however feel they are on the verge of losing a special talent and the club have said that Arsenal are front runners in gaining his signature. Stimson told Gillingham”s club website that they are working out a deal with Arsenal.
“As we speak, Arsenal are the front-runners for Luke Freeman and they are talking to the chairman,” Stimson told the club’s official website. “We are trying to negotiate a deal, but that could take a day, a week or a month.”
“We realise now that we are going to lose him. It is sad that is going to happen because he is a special talent.
“We have got to get the best deal for the club and when that is done, we’ll let everyone know.
“It wouldn’t be right to stand in the boy’s way if the deal is right for Gillingham.
“The good thing about it is he realises that and so do his parents. They know he will only go to a Premier League club if the deal is right for our club and that is what we are trying to negotiate.”
He maybe a great addition in years to come if he signs and would add to the feeling that Arsenal really have and tend to produce great English youngsters. We would hope that he shows better signs then Theo Walcott and Jermaine Pennant however as Theo is still developing and Pennant never broke into the first team in a permanent manner.
Also on the subject of making English players, Arsenal tend to be said we don”t sign/develop enough. Well look at Steve Sidwell, David Bentely, James Harper, Justin Hoyte , Jermaine Pennant, Fabrice Muamba, Ashley Cole, and there is as much English as foreign players coming through the youth setup such as Henri Lansbuary, Marc Randall and Gavin Hoyte.
Chelsea get praise for having so much English in their ranks. Well all I can say is they sign the best English around and sit them on the bench. I take Steve Sidwell(again), Wayne Bridge, Glen Johnson, Carlton Cole, and I am sure I missed one or two but you can see what I am getting at.
However on that subject I guess I regret that outburst as I don”t care if a player is from Trinidad and Tobaggo, Russia or Wales. I think a player should be judged on how good is football is and I feel that is the way it is at Arsenal and I am happy that is the way it is at Arsenal at the end of the day its the football that counts and I would not change the way it is even if I could with the Arsenal setup right now regarding the foreign policy.
But back to Freeman and I hope he signs. If he does I hope he does very, very well with us.