Arsenal have completed the signing of centre-back Zech Medley on a scholarship deal, following a successful trial.
Medley, who left Chelsea’s academy at the start of October, was given an opportunity to impress coaching staff and earn a contract at Arsenal.
At 16-years-old, the talented defender still has plenty of room for improvement, as seen in his shaky debut against Fulham’s u18 side just days after he joined the youth ranks.
Conceding a penalty late on and making a few rash decisions earlier in the game, it was a timely reminder that despite his ability, Medley is still a player who needs to develop further before he can get further opportunities to assert his credentials in the u23s.
Having been at Chelsea since the age of eight, he has been capped internationally with England on seven occasions at u16 level. He can fill in as a full-back when called upon, as shown by manager Dan Micciche’s selection frequency in recent months.
The centre-back pairing in the u18s of late has been Joseph Olowu and Kostas Pileas, but there’s no reason why Medley cannot stake his claim to start there with increasing regularity now that he has signed a scholarship deal.
It’s a welcome selection headache for Kwame Ampadu ahead of their final league fixture of 2016 – an away clash against Southampton on Saturday.