Five facts on the Fulham wonderkid linked with a move to Arsenal

Patrick Roberts has enjoyed a meteroric rise through the ranks with the Cottagers which has seen him star for the U21's and on the international stage.

When Arsenal fans awoke this morning and read the reports linking them with Fulham starlet Patrick Roberts, there may have initially been a snort of derision at Arsene Wenger's latest target - fitting the stereotype of young, up and coming prospect which has come to embody the Frenchman's approach to the transfer market.

With obvious voids to be addressed up front, in defensive midfield and possibly at the back, some Gunners fans will question the wisdom of adding another attack-minded talent to their ranks, but in Roberts, Arsenal would be purchasing one of the potential English greats.

His stock has already reached those lofty heights after a series of dazzling performances for Fulham's academy outfits and his exploits with the England U17 outfit have only served to add to his blossoming reputation.

Roberts, just 17, signed his first professional contract at the turn of the new year and his rapid elevation has seen him make a first-team debut for good measure.

Here are five facts about the Cottagers' precocious young talent, who they will be hoping to keep out of the clutches of Arsenal and the other Premier League big guns this summer...

1) Signing on

Roberts penned his first deal with the club only in February, which ties him to the club until 2016. It has seemingly not done enough to ward off Arsenal, however, who will hope a bidding war does not ensue for his signature.

2) First-team debut

Roberts' rise to prominence saw him secure an inaugural first-team outing in the 5-0 humbling at Manchester City recently while he also played the final nine minutes of last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Everton, where he was unable to help stem the Toffees tide in the closing stages.

3) Prolific international form

The Cottagers prodigy had only struck once in seven outings for the England U16's, but a true reflection of his abilities has become apparent at U17 level, where he has plundered four in nine appearances, including a remarkable strike against Armenia, as shown below...

4) Spurs put to the sword

The young star may already have endeared himself to the Gunners fanbase after netting a hat-trick to see off North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Youth Cup to seal a 3-2 comeback win.

His goals showed more predatory instincts than the style he is lauded for. Arsenal scouts have noted his technique and stunning dribbling ability in particular.

5) League winner

Roberts inspired the Cottagers' U18 side to a league success last term and has subsequently been promoted to the U21 setup, a platform which has allowed him to shine in the cup competitions and saw him handed a debut sooner than even he could have imagined.

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