Watford are reportedly set to beat Arsenal and Tottenham in the race to sign Stevenage prodigy Ben Wilmot this summer
According to a report by The Sun, Watford have won the race to sign highly-rated defensive prodigy, Ben Wilmot in the summer transfer window. Arsenal and Tottenham were also interested in the Stevenage wonderkid, but the Hornets were the only suitors prepared to pay £1.5 million to secure his services.
Wilmot has become the talk of the town in all of England over the course of the season, having not just broken into the first-team setup at Stevenage, but also impressed with performances beyond his years. Widely regarded as one of the best under-19 talents in the country, the teenager has already featured 15 times for the League Two outfit this season.
But, Wilmot’s remarkable breakthrough campaign has also attracted a lot of eyeballs towards him, with Arsenal, Tottenham and a host of other Premier League clubs reported to be interested in him. Stevenage also made a statement recently, confirming that the player’s time at the club is nearing its end.
At Arsenal, the need to sign a centre-back has accentuated in recent weeks, with age catching up with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker set to hang up his boots. Young talents like Rob Holding and Calum Chambers haven’t been consistent enough, which is why the Gunners have been linked with a number of defenders in recent weeks.
Tottenham, on the other hand, with grappling with the Toby Alderweireld situation, with the Belgian looking set to depart from the club in the summer. With Juan Foyth the only option beyond Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen, Wilmot is a viable target.
Tottenham were even believed to be holding the aces in the race to sign Wilmot, boasting a healthy relationship with the League Two outfit. But, both Spurs and Arsenal have now been usurped, with Watford coming up trumps in pursuit of the 18-year-old.
Indeed, Watford would offer a quicker route into the first-team setup than Arsenal and Tottenham, both of whom have a set first-choice partnership at the back. With none of the defenders managing to impress much this season, Wilmot could even slot in as a regular at some point next season if he manages to make a mark early on.
Stevenage, meanwhile, were happy to do business with Watford, who were willing to pay their £1.5 million asking price, and will scour loaning oppportunities in the future. Arsenal and Tottenham, on the other hand, weren’t unwilling to go beyond their £1 million valuation of the player, thereby losing the race to sign him.
It now remains to be seen if Wilmot is able to take his career to the next level at Watford, when he finally makes the switch to Vicarage Road this summer. Who knows, either Arsenal or Tottenham might belatedly secure his services, if he continues developing at an impressive rate.