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Biereth makes Arsenal move

Arsenal have this afternoon confirmed the capture of young Fulham forward Mika Biereth.

The teenager, who scored 21 goals in 21 league games as Fulham’s under 18s retained their Premier League South title last season, rejected the Whites’ offer of a professional contract and instead opted to join the Gunners.

The eighteen year-old told Arsenal’s official website: “It feels great and I’m really excited to be here. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I couldn’t really turn it down. I think now with the recent track record of youth going into the first team, I thought it was a great project to try and be a part of.”

Biereth joined Fulham in 2018 and made his debut for the under 18s as a fourteen year-old against Reading that February. He signed a two-year scholarship with the club in July 2019 and fired two hat-tricks against Tottenham and Leicester as Steve Wigley’s youngsters successfully defended their league title. He scored a total of 25 goals in 41 appearances at youth level in his Fulham career, creating fifteen assists.

It is understood the two London clubs have yet to reach agreement over compensation for the young striker – and this could be eventually determined by a tribunal.

Fulham offer Biereth and Bowat professional contracts

Fulham have rewarded Mika Biereth and Ibane Bowat professional contracts after their outstanding performances for the club’s under 18 side this season, according to the Athletic this morning.

Biereth has scored thirteen goals in sixteen league appearances for Fulham’s under 18s this term, notching hat-tricks against Aston Villa and Tottenham. The Motspur Park coaching staff are particularly pleased with his development and the forward has also made four appearances at under-23 level this season. The teenager, who moved to Craven Cottage in the summer of 2019, has attracted interest from Brighton and Hove Albion but Fulham are confident he will put pen to paper on a professional deal.

Bowat, a composed ball-playing centre back who has captained Steve Wigley’s side this year, has made twelve league appearances for the under-18s this season and earned a call-up to Scotland’s under 19 side earlier this year. He scored in this weekend’s 5-0 win over Norwich City. Arsenal, West Ham and Everton have all expressed in signing Bowat – as reported earlier this month – but Fulham have not received an official approach and believe they are in pole position to keep hold of one of their prized assets.

Biereth hat-trick sinks Spurs

A blistering hat-trick from Mika Biereth stole the headlines as Fulham’s under 18s bounced back from defeat by thrashing Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 this afternoon.

Steve Wigley’s side were narrowly beaten by Crystal Palace earlier this month but responded in the best possible fashion with a confident performance in another London derby. Jay Stansfield gained further match fitness following his long injury lay-off by starting up front and the former Exeter City forward almost played in Ollie O’Neill with just five minutes played, but the danger was dealt with by Marques Muir. Tottenham goalkeeper Aaron Maguire then made a superb save to keep out Biereth’s powerful header from Idris Odutayo’s cross, but the visitors could only survive a bright Fulham start for so long.

The Whites went in front in the seventeenth minute. O’Neill was the provider, delivering a devilish cross to the far post where Biereth fired home emphatically. The excellent O’Neill was proving a persistent menace and sent in another cross that should have led to the second. Biereth’s smart dummy created an opening for Stansfield, who unselfishly sought to find the goalscorer again, only for Maguire to intervene.

The lively Luke Harris, such a prominent presence in midfield, drove agonisingly wide as Fulham pushed for a more commanding lead but the home side soon doubled their advantage. Biereth grabbed his second after seizing on some slack distribution from the Spurs backline, nipping in to poke an assured finish past the stranded goalkeeper.

O’Neill provided another assist as Fulham went further ahead before the break. The creative midfielder’s latest cross was perfectly weighted for Harris to head home his fourth goal in seven appearances for the under 18s and effectively settle the contest before half time.

There was no let up from the Whites in the second period. Scottish forward Kieron Bowie added his name to the scoresheet, clinically tucking home from close range four minutes after the interval after more good work from Biereth. Biereth then rounded off a fantastic afternoon by completing his hat-trick after a bout of pinball at a Fulham corner. The comprehensive win leaves Fulham just a point behind Palace at the top of the table.

FULHAM U18s: Mee; D’Auria-Henry, Parkes, Bowat, Odutayo; Benjamin, O’Neill, Harris; Bowie, Stansfield, Biereth. Subs: McNally, Williams, Caton, Olakigbe, Wildbore.

GOALS: Biereth (17, 28, 53), Harris (40), Bowie (49).

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR U18s: Maguire; Cassanova, Hackett, John, Muir; Paskotsi, Mathurin (Carrington 64), Devine (M. Craig 77), Mundle (Whittaker 77); Robson, Santiago. Sub (not used): Lo-Tutala.