Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur are all reportedly set to do battle for the signature of Charlton Athletic wonder kid Ademola Lookman.
According to the Mirror, the 18-year-old has become one of the most sought after young English talents this summer following a standout season with the Addicks last term. Contributing five goals in 24 appearances in the Championship, the young forward earned a place on the U19 England squad for the U19 European Championships which took place this summer.
Arsenal, along with their Premier League rivals, are reported to have dispatched scouts to watch the exciting Englishman play at the tournament and though he failed to make it onto the score sheet, he impressed sufficiently to ensure that interest among the big teams remains high.
Having only signed a first long-term contract with Charlton this year, it is expected that it will cost in the region of £2 million to prize him away from the Championship side.
The Gunners are reportedly leading the charge for the talented forward and given their history for signing and nurturing youth at the club, a move to the Emirates Stadium might be just the ticket for the aspiring England international.
Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger might, however, following his side’s final preseason game against Manchester City over the weekend, be required to fully focus on his defence. A serious ankle injury to centre-back Gabriel sees Wenger with very few experienced options ahead of his side’s season opener against Liverpool next Saturday.
With the defensive headache now facing the veteran Frenchman, it could well be that whatever transfer plans he had at the weekend may now be shelved in preference for the hunt for an experienced defender.
This would likely leave any possible bid for Lookman high and dry, allowing other Premier League sides to make their move.
Whatever happens, it seems that Lookman’s career path is destined for the Premier League. The question of his arrival is merely a case of when, not if.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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