Stevenage manager Darren Sarll has heaped praise onto 18-year-old defender Ben Wilmot, who has been linked with Arsenal.

Sarll reckons that Wilmot is destined to play football at the highest level amid speculation that Arsenal have been keeping an eye on the 18-year-old recently. The coach even compared the teenager to Alfie Mawson, who currently plays for Swansea.

Sarll signed the 23-year-old when he was the youth team coach at Brentford.

“He didn’t look 18, did he? He’s got a reading of the game, and an intelligence,” said Sarll.

“I was very lucky at Brentford that I recruited a young man called Alfie Mawson, who’d been released from Reading.

“They have a very similar compatibility between them as players and people. Both have got a fantastic desire. Alfie has gone on to play at the very top and for his country (at Under-21 level).

“Listen, regardless of whether Ben plays for his country or not, I think he’ll play at the very top.”

The defender put in a brilliant performance against Reading in the FA Cup. Even though the clash ended 0-0, Wilmot almost scored and looked far beyond his 18 years.

Wilmot, who’s also been linked with Liverpool, came through the ranks at Stevenage, where he was born.

He made his first team debut on October 3 last year after impressing in the FA Youth Cup previously.

This term, the centre-back has played twice for Stevenage in the League Cup and once in the FA Cup.

Arsenal are in need of a first team centre-back and I highly doubt that Wilmot is the right man considering he’s only 18. This suggests that, if we are looking to sign him, it’ll be for our youth side.

It will be interesting to see how he continues to develop though.