Derby County have confirmed the signing of former Arsenal and Sevilla midfielder Alban Bunjaku on a two-year deal.
The 20-year-old midfielder, once a very highly-rated Arsenal protégé, becomes the Rams second signing of the summer transfer window and will join up with his new team-mates for pre-season when they report back at the end of June.
Head of Football Operations Chris Evans commented: ‘Following a successful trial with the club, we are delighted to welcome Alban on board.
‘He fits the criteria for the type of player we want to bring in for the development group.
‘Alban has had a good grounding across Europe, having developed at both Arsenal and Sevilla.
‘He will benefit immensely from working on the training ground in the coming months with Steve McClaren, with a view to nurturing his early potential.’
Bunjaku should be seen as a shrewd signing by Derby County, because it was just two-years-ago the versatile midfielder was at the centre of an international tug-of-war.
The respect of the youngster was also reiterated by former team-mate Chuba Akpom during an interview in 2012.
When Akpom was asked what Bunjaku was like to play with, he commented: ‘He was technically better than everyone; had an amazing touch – the best. Very good dribbling ability, great awareness, could drop a shoulder and shoot, very skillful.’
If not for a breakdown between Alban and the Arsenal coaching staff, which ultimately lead to his exit to Sevilla, he may have gone on to progress further in the Arsenal ranks and perhaps gone on to break into the Gunners first-team.
Nevertheless, Steve McClaren will be hoping he can replicate his earlier form and, who knows, break into Derby County first-team as early as next season.