Arsenal are planning a summer move for Fulham’s teenage midfielder Patrick Roberts, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The 17 year-old, widely regarded as one of the country’s brightest young talents, has recently been introduced to the Fulham first-team squad by new manager Felix Magath. He made his Premier League debut as a second half substitute at Manchester City a fortnight ago and was brought on for ten minutes at the end of Fulham’s 3-1 defeat by Everton at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
Roberts, a regular in England’s youth international squads in recent year, has starred for Fulham’s under-18 side in the past couple of seasons and turned in a superb display at Reading in Thursday’s FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg, scoring the equaliser as ten-man Fulham came back from 2-0 to level the tie. Fulham are confident of keeping hold of the teenager, who signed his first professional contract in February that will keep him at the Cottage until 2016, and Magath has quickly identified Roberts as one of the players he could build his side around.
Pat is a very big talent and he will have a great career in front of him, so I think it is good for him to make the experience now in the Premier League, so he will get used to it. He will be a player that we need in the future.
Arsenal’s scouts suggest that Roberts could mature into a talent to match Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, two teenage starlets that Arsene Wenger brought in from Southampton, and Manchester United are known to covet the winger as well.