Sunderland academy starlet Sam Greenwood has agreed to join Arsenal, according to Team Talk. The 16-year-old centre forward is one of Sunderland’s hottest prospects, but the club are struggling to retain his services as interest by top clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, and Stuttgart continues to grow.
His contract with Sunderland is set to expire this summer as he ponders a move to a bigger club. It is believed Arsenal have set forth a scholarship deal for Greenwood, with the intention of discussing professional terms when he turns 17 in January.
MAIL: Arsenal are closing on a deal to sign Sunderland's 16yr old striker Sam Greenwood who was a target for Manchester United and Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/LnL7b3XPhA— Osman (@OsmanZtheGooner) July 5, 2018
Greenwood scored six goals and assisted just as many in Sunderland’s U18 side last year, while he has also been called up to the England U16 squad.
Arsenal have been very active in this summer transfer window, however, most signings have been of tried and tested footballers who are of the “older” variety, such as Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Stephan Lichtsteiner. Such signings indicate a desire to improve the team in a short-term capacity, however the acquisition of Greenwood would suggest the club are still very much interested in acquiring youthful assets for the future—something Arsene Wenger was frequently ridiculed for doing in transfer windows.
One other youth signing has been made this summer—Estonian keeper Karl Jakob Hein from Nomme United. Also 16-years-old, Hein joined on a similar scholarship deal in May with the potential of a three-year professional contract a year later.
While both Hein and Greenwood—if he joins—will play amongst the youth ranks, they may get a chance of training with Unai Emery.
Sunderland starlet Sam Greenwood has agreed move to Arsenal. https://t.co/E9zLpbzsJT— Graeme Bailey (@GraemeBailey) July 5, 2018