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Leander Siemann: Arsenal's next German superstar

Who is Arsenal's next German whizkid Leander Siemann?

Serge Gnabry signing a new contract in midweek was confirmation of Arsenal's investment in young German talent.

He has risen from the club's under-21 side to become a first team regular this season, with compatriot Thomas Eisfeld waiting in the wings to do the same.

Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and of course Mesut Ozil are all German internationals playing for the Gunners too, but could there be yet another youngster making his way to the first team?

Step forward Leander Siemann.

Siemann first came to Arsenal in 2011 aged just 15, where he switched from Hertha Berlin's youth team, costing them £220,000.

Hertha's youth team manager Frank Vogel described him at the time as 'young, dynamic, and good at one on one's.'

Siemann signed his first professional contract with Arsenal last October, shortly after turning 17.

Appearing for the club's under-18 side, the centre-back found himself often deployed at right-back last season, adding a new string to his bow.

He turned 18 earlier this week, and has been making steady progression this season which should give supporters reason to be positive.

Siemann has made the step up to Arsenal's under-21s this campaign, playing as a stand-in left-back for the full 90 minutes in a draw with Stoke and a win over Blackburn.

The German was also handed a nod in their opening UEFA Youth League win over Marseille, in his preferred position of centre-back, with the Gunners winning 4-1.

A natural athlete, Siemann even won a youth cross country event in his homeland in 2008.

A speedy defender, with good heading ability and strong tackler, he has all the raw skills to make it in England, a league which his former coach Vogel admitted suited his core attributes.

Isaac Hayden's progression from the under-21s to the fringes of the first team shows that there are opportunities for young defenders at Arsenal, while the success of countryman Gnabry also shows Siemann he can make it.

If he can establish himself in the under-21 side and continue to build over the next couple of seasons, we may be seeing the emergence of another German superstar into the Arsenal team in the future.

image: © tjuel

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