Arsenal midfielder Ismael Bennacer has left the club on a permanent deal, joining Italian Serie B outfit Empoli, both clubs have confirmed.
The move was revealed by both Arsenal and Empoli on Twitter, confirming the rumours from earlier in the day that it would be a permanent deal and not a loan move for the 19-year-old.
Good luck, Ismael https://t.co/A1daqTLsDO
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 21, 2017
— Empoli Fc Official (@EmpoliCalcio) August 21, 2017
Bennacer had too much competition to ever nail down a starting place in the Arsenal side. He joined Arsenal’s youth ranks in 2015, although at that stage he had already played senior matches for Arles-Avignon in Ligue 2.
When the club was administratively relegated, the midfielder came to North London and quickly got his first senior minutes in England. His Arsenal debut came through unusual circumstances, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott both picking up injuries in the first 19 minutes of a League Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday.
After mostly appearing for the youth teams following that game, Bennacer then earned himself a loan spell in January of this year, playing for Tours in Ligue 2.
Clearly he must’ve impressed the scouts from Empoli during this period, as he made 14 appearances and scored one free-kick. We wish Ismael good luck for the next step in his career.