Arsenal have completed the signing of Barcelona full-back Joel Lopez, with the youngster joining on scholarship terms until next March, when he can sign a professional contract.
Lopez has long been expected to move to Arsenal, and the transfer seemed to become a formality when he posted a farewell message to the Barcelona fans last week. Nonetheless, there was no mention of the Gunners in the post, and no announcement from Arsenal, so we had to wait a bit longer for confirmation.
That finally came last night, from an unlikely source, as Lopez updated his Instagram bio to say “Football Player Arsenal FC”. Arsenal youth expert Jeorge Bird writes that Lopez has signed scholarship terms for now, as he’s still just 16, but he’ll put pen to paper on a professional deal when he turns 17 in March.
For now, Lopez will play with the u18s, as they try to repeat and improve on their run to the FA Youth Cup final and second place league finish last season. Perhaps we’ll see him follow in the footsteps of Hector Bellerin with a quick transition to the first-team in the coming years though.
We wish Joel luck with the coming season, and welcome him to Arsenal!