Teenage midfield star, Ben Sheaf, has signed his first professional contract with Arsenal.
Ben arrived from West Ham at the start of this season, and has made 12 appearances in the Under-18 Premier League and featuring for Arsenal in both the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League.
He has only just turned 17 on Thursday but was spotted as a promising youngster at West Ham from last year and is highly-rated at the club, which has led the club to make fresh moves to make him feel a future lies for him at the Emirates with the offer of his first professional deal.
According to Squawka, Sheaf’s strengths lie mostly in his range of shooting and passing ability in the middle of the park, and has been tipped to make a big impact in the coming years. A regular of the England Under-16s, Sheaf proved his quality in the summer when he scored a fantastic long-range free-kick in a pre-season friendly against Lincoln, which may have prompted the club to extend his stay.
This latest offer of a contract to a teenager comes only a few days after England youth international Kaylen Hinds joined the league of Professionals too. Ben and Kaylen join a host of other academy stars who have made the step up from amateur to professional over the past few months, a list which includes Chiori Johnson, Tyrell Robinson, Jack Jebb, Kristopher Da Graca and Stefan O’Connor, who has already made his first team debut this season in the Champions League win over Galatasaray.
The club surely does place substantial value on youth development and that has produced good results this season already, with the rise of Hector Bellerin being a shining example. The fight shown to keep Chiba Akpom also proves the long-term plans being laid by the club with the faith put in the youths.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.