Arsenal prospect Omari Hutchinson has signed for Chelsea after joining Arsenal as an u12.
TheSecretScout reported on Friday morning that Omari Hutchinson was set to move to Chelsea, joining up with the Blues’ u21s. Journalists Freddie Paxton and Chris Wheatley then confirmed the news which has been made official by Arsenal.
Wheatley claimed Hutchinson was in talks with Arsenal over a new deal, but when those broke down he turned to Chelsea.
Chelsea’s head of youth recruitment Jim Fraser said: “We are delighted that Omari has agreed to sign for Chelsea. He is a brilliant addition who joins us as an exciting emerging talent hoping to make a quick impression in the senior game.”
There were certainly signs hinting at a transfer for Hutchinson. He wasn’t involved in the first-team trip to America this week, but he also didn’t feature in the u21 fixture against Hereford.
The winger had been involved in pre-season previously, scoring for the Arsenal u21s against Woking on July 5th. So his absence this week was unexplained, until now.
Hutchinson looked to be one of the Arsenal academy’s rising talents, with only four other u23 or u18 players providing more goal contributions than his 17 last season.
It’s a strange move, given Hutchinson could join a number of clubs this summer if he wanted to. Chelsea are arguably one of few you wouldn’t expect to give him significant first-team chances this season.
There’s obviously some congestion on the wings at Arsenal, with Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, and new signing Marquinhos filling up spots on the right wing.
But Chelsea gave zero Premier League minutes to teenagers last season, and there are constantly stories of their youth players frustrated at a lack of chances under Thomas Tuchel – with Levi Colwill the latest to hit the news.
Perhaps the logic is that Chelsea are the most experienced club at finding loan moves for youth players, given the ridiculous number they send out every season.
That’s the only way you can see Hutchinson getting any short-term benefit from the transfer other than money. Wheatley reports that Chelsea are offering a lot more than Arsenal were.
Arsenal are fairly stacked on the wings at youth level, so Kido Taylor-Hart, Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, Joel Ideho, George Lewis, and Marcelo Flores will compete for the starting role Hutchinson leaves behind – if they themselves don’t go on loan or leave permanently.
Taking to social media, Hutchinson said, “Dear fans, it’s time to say goodbye.
“My experience with Arsenal has been a fantastic and memorable one. I will always remember my time here and the beautiful journey it has taken me on. This will be one to remember and never to forget.
“Arsenal made me feel most welcomed and respected, so huge thank you to all the staff and coaches and my team-mates – it’s been a real pleasure.
“Lastly, a colossal thank you to all the Arsenal fans who have supported and shown me love. Words cannot describe how I value, respect and love you all!”