Arsenal 17-year-old Ben Cottrell is drawing interest from Borussia Dortmund and Marseille, according to reports.

Ben Cottrell playing against Chelsea u23s (Photo via Twitter / ArsenalAcademy)
Ben Cottrell playing against Chelsea u23s (Photo via Twitter / ArsenalAcademy)

The Athletic report that Cottrell has been attracting attention from the two European clubs, after a strong start to the season with the academy.

Given his age, Cottrell has been on the borderline between the u18s and the u23s so far this season. He’s made four u18 appearances, scoring three times and assisting once, but he’s also made three u23 appearances (two starts), scoring once against Chelsea.

His impact with the u18s has been more than just goals and assists though. He gives the team more control over the game from midfield, and it’s no surprise they’ve won three of four with him and zero of six without him.

The left-footed teenager is reminiscent of Jack Wilshere in terms of his shorter stature and ability to evade pressure with quick changes of direction. He does also have more of an eye for goal than Wilshere did, making good late runs into the box.

With Emile Smith Rowe’s promotion to the first team, the u23s have needed that same influence in midfield, which is why Cottrell has been getting more chances recently.

If Marseille and Dortmund are indeed interested, Arsenal could have a battle to hold onto the player. The club are in a good position right now though, given Cottrell only just signed his first professional contract in the summer.