Arsenal have reportedly entered the race to sign West Bromwich Albion’s 17-year-old talent Reyes Cleary, also a target for Everton and Newcastle United.
According to Daily Mail, Arsenal have expressed their interest in signing West Bromwich Albion starlet Reyes Cleary in the summer of 2022 but face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Newcastle United and Everton to secure the English prodigy.
The 17-year-old striker started the season as an Under-18 player at the West Brom academy. He scored 13 goals in nine games for the Baggies Under-18s earlier this season, which helped him secure promotion to the Under-23 side. But despite the step up, he has been banging in the goals for fun, netting seven in 11 Premier League 2 games so far.
Cleary scored his 30th goal of the season across various youth levels with an eye-catching brace on Monday as the West Brom Under-23s dumped Queens Park Rangers out of the Premier League Cup. He made his senior debut coming off the bench in extra time in a 2-1 FA Cup defeat against Brighton in January earlier this year.
Cleary’s exploits in front of goal have made him a coveted prospect on the continent, with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich claimed to have sent scouts to watch him in action earlier this term.
West Bromwich Albion, for their part, acknowledge Cleary’s potential and are trying to convince him to sign his first professional contract at the Hawthorns by promising more first-team involvement during the rest of the season.
However, the 17-year old has yet to agree fresh terms, and this situation has piqued the interest of some Premier League sides, including Newcastle and Everton. Now, Arsenal have also joined the bandwagon of suitors for the young striker’s services.
While the Gunners are expected to dip in the market for an established striker to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they can do well by adding a prodigious talent like Cleary to their youth setup.
With Mikel Arteta aiming to build a team around young and vibrant individuals, the 17-year-old fits the profile of players that Arsenal are looking to recruit. And it would not take him much time to break into the first-team picture if he sustains his current rate of progression.
Everton, meanwhile, are planning for the future under Frank Lampard after half a decade of mismanagement and exorbitant spending. Considering Lampard’s track record with young talents, Cleary is worth a roll of die, and if the Toffees do get relegated to the Championship, the Baggies ace could have a bigger part to play in that scenario.
As for Newcastle, they want to bolster their youth ranks as they look to facilitate the grand plans they have for their first team. Eddie Howe has the ability to nurture rough diamonds into established Premier League players, and signing someone with Cleary’s potential, physique, speed and eye for a goal could save them a fortune in the transfer market in future.
Apart from the clubs mentioned above, Southampton, Bayer Leverkusen, Red Bull Salzburg and Crystal Palace are also keeping close tabs on the talented 17-year-old striker. With the race to sign him heating up, it remains to be seen who will sign the teenage sensation.