According to a recent report in the Express, Arsenal are frontrunners to sign Sheffield Wednesday striker George Hirst.

The 17-year-old forward has only made two appearances at senior level this term, but showed his promise at international level within England’s youth sides. His goal-scoring exploits in the youth ranks have not gone unnoticed either.

Hirst celebrates one of his two goals against Poland's u18 side, which attracted further interest in his services
Hirst has caught the eye with his performances for England’s youth sides. (Picture: Daily Mail)

Sheffield Wednesday’s head of academy coaching, Steven Haslam, had this to say about the talented teenager, “George has really progressed in the last two years. He had a huge growth spurt and has a big powerful frame on him now. He’s a big threat.”

He turns 18 next Wednesday and although growth spurts are common for developing teenagers, his mental focus was also praised. “For me, it’s George’s character that is really impressive. If he misses chances, he doesn’t let it affect him. He keeps getting in the right areas,” Haslam continued.

“George is mature and learns fast. He listens well to advice and has a tough, ruthless streak to him.”

So, what’s next?

These quotes will prove encouraging reading from an Arsenal perspective. Hirst has evidently kept his head down and not let speculation influence decision-making at such an early stage of his footballing career but questions will be asked should he make a lucrative switch to Arsenal further down the line?

With a number of talented forwards in the youth ranks at present, it’s unlikely that Hirst would get into the u23s starting eleven over Donyell Malen or Edward Nketiah. Both are highly-rated prospects who have shown promise and individual brilliance during their time at the club thus far.

Hirst would no longer be eligible to feature for the u18s at the end of the current campaign and despite interest from top flight clubs, it’s unlikely the Championship outfit will allow one of their talented gems depart before he has a chance to breakthrough into the first-team.