Arsenal could find themselves in a battle with north London rivals Tottenham to sign Charlton’s highly-rated defender Ezri Konsa.
According to the Mirror, the two sides are interested in making a move for the teenager this summer. No transfer fee has been speculated upon, though the fact that he’s English and still quite young means that he’ll be expected to be sold for a relatively high price.
It may be similar to the £11m which saw Ademola Lookman leave for Everton in January. Arsenal and Lookman’s current club Everton sent scouts to track his progress for England U20s in the South Korea World Cup.
Konsa, who made 39 appearances in all competitions for the League One side last season, was a late call-up for the Three Lions, and only made one substitute appearance – in the 3-1 win over Italy in the semi-finals. He was nevertheless part of the side who went on to win the tournament.
Konsa signed a new three-year deal with Charlton back in March and the Addicks will offer him first-team assurances in the hope he will stay for the short-term. His rapid development has been refreshing to see and after winning the club’s Young Player of the Year award last season, it’s unlikely that he’ll remain at Charlton for much longer.
The 19-year-old has a big decision to make in the coming months. Tottenham are perhaps the more attractive choice at present, given they can offer Champions League football coupled with manager Mauricio Pochettino’s willingness to promote talented youngsters into the first-team. Arsenal, though, aren’t far behind.
Hector Bellerín and Alex Iwobi have both excelled in recent seasons after making the step up from youth players to first-teamers. Rob Holding has enjoyed a rise to prominence in the first-team after his £2m move from Bolton last summer too.
It’s believed that Konsa will be loaned straight back to Charlton for another season if one of the north London sides does make a lucrative offer.