Zech Medley has left Arsenal on a permanent deal for K.V. Oostende, with a sell-on and a first-option clause in his contract.
Arsenal and K.V. Oostende both confirmed the transfer of Zech Medley between the two clubs on Monday morning. Medley spent four-and-a-half years with the Gunners after joining from Chelsea, though he was always an Arsenal boy at heart.
Oostende have confirmed that Medley is signing a deal to 2025, with an option for a further year. Club president Gauthier Ganaye says the Arsenal academy defender was one of their key targets for the summer.
“Zech has been on our radar for a long time,” Ganaye said. “He was one of our main targets and I am delighted that we have succeeded in bringing him to Ostend.
“With his 1.95m height, his speed, front-foot defense, and quality on the ball, he fits perfectly into our game system. I look forward to seeing Zech make progress within our squad.”
Medley then gave his thoughts on the deal to the club website.
“I am happy that the deal with KVO has been settled,” Medley said. “The Belgian league has evolved enormously in recent seasons and it is a stepping stone to the bigger leagues. Just look at Jack Hendry relaunching his career here.
“I sign a contract for four seasons here, which is a clear sign of confidence from the KVO board. I’m looking forward to getting to know my teammates and playing my first game as soon as possible.”
Football.London previously reported that the 20-year-old Arsenal centre-back would join Oostende on a permanent deal this summer.
Rather than remaining with Arsenal, where he still had a year on his contract and an option for another, Medley decided to seek a new challenge in Belgium. He’s expected to play regular first-team football with Oostende.
Arsenal have reportedly inserted a sell-on clause into Medley’s deal, as well as a first-option clause. So the Gunners will get a cut of the profits if Medley moves on elsewhere, and they’ll also get the chance to bring him back if that’s what they’d prefer.
Medley spent the season on loan with Gillingham and Kilmarnock, making 28 appearances between the two.
Personally, I think this is the right decision. Some players seem to cling onto the Arsenal safety net for a bit too long when it’s clear they need to move on and get their career going. It’s good to see a player taking a chance.
There’s just so much competition for places at centre-back at Arsenal right now. Only looking at players in the 19-21 age group, Arsenal have Omar Rekik, Daniel Ballard, Harry Clarke, Mark McGuinness, and Jonathan Dinzeyi, not to mention William Saliba.
Medley clearly sees more of a pathway to a good professional career with this move to Oostende, and we wish him all the best. If it all goes well, maybe we’ll see him back someday.