Why Arsenal could have advantage in race for 17-year-old wonderkid

Charlton Athletic

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Charlton defender Joe Gomez.

17-year-old Gomez is one of the breakthrough stars of the Championship season, and a report in the Telegraph has claimed that the Gunners are looking at signing him in the summer.

A central defender, who is also able to play on the right side of defence, Gomez has made 21 appearances for the Addicks this term, impressing for the South London side.

His impressive form saw him win his first call-up to England’s Under-19 side, and he is still a frequent fixture in the Under-17 team.

Obviously his rise to prominence has coincided with increased interest in his signature, and Newcastle are another Premier League side to have been linked with the youngster, as per the Chronicle.

However, Arsenal may have an advantage in the race for his signature.

Carl Jenkinson started his career at Charlton, and has since established himself as a consistent top fight performer, breaking through at the Emirates and spending this season on loan with West Ham.

Gomez would be well aware that moving to Arsenal could allow for immediate chances in the top flight, and using Jenkinson as an example, would likely open up the door to the senior England team as well.

Also, Charlton’s relationship with the Gunners is currently in a good zone, having loaned Francis Coquelin from Arsenal earlier this term. The Frenchman enjoyed a productive spell in the second tier, returning to Arsenal to stake a key claim in the first-team set-up, and that will once again show Gomez that the step-up may not be too far for him.

With a number of clubs likely to be involved in the race of Gomez, Arsenal’s previous work with Charlton could prove vital. Both the club and player will believe that the Gunners are perfect for his development, and that could be the key reason that the North Londoners have an advantage over their Premier League rivals.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch