20-year-old right-back Chiori Johnson signed for Bolton Wanderers on Friday, leaving Arsenal on a free transfer.
Last week, Arsenal revealed that they were releasing Johnson at the end of his contract with the club. Technically that deal lasts until the end of June, but by this stage he was free to negotiate with and sign for whichever club he wanted, without needing Arsenal’s permission to do so.
As a result, Bolton Wanderers announced on their website that he’s signing a professional contract with them. The Championship club gave him a trial with their u23 side towards the end of the 2017/18 campaign, and he impressed sufficiently to earn a transfer.
It was clear all season that Johnson wouldn’t receive a new contract offer from Arsenal. He didn’t appear in a single Premier League 2 game for the u23s, and played a match on trial for Blackburn Rovers in February. That didn’t work out, but he got a move to the Championship with Bolton in the end nonetheless.
Unfortunately for Johnson, Arsenal already had strong options in his position. Particularly Jordi Osei-Tutu, who was on the verge of a first-team breakthrough last season despite being a year younger, at 19.
Hopefully now the defender can get the senior opportunities he needs to push on and make a career for himself.