Arsenal are joined by Chelsea and Leeds United in the race to sign AFC Wimbledon youngster Quaine Bartley.
If reports from TeamTalk are to be believed, London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal could indulge themselves in a three-way battle with Leeds United in the pursuit of Quaine Bartley. The AFC Wimbledon youngster has attracted a lot of attention for his rapid development in the youth department this season and a move away from the club could be on the cards.
A midfielder by trade, Bartley used to play for Tottenham Hotspur academy earlier in his career before being released by the north London giants. He then joined Wimbledon, whose trust in the youngster seems to have paid off, as the player is not regarded as the brightest talent in the club’s youth academy.
Bartley is yet to play for the Wimbledon professionally but is tipped to make a jump to the senior level somewhere during the course of the ongoing campaign. He has already been training with Glyn Hodges’ men and it’s only a matter of time before the midfielder makes his professional debut this season.
The player himself is not deterred by interest from top clubs across England. In fact, he is determined to continue his progress at Wimbledon and is also confident of making his breakthrough with the senior side at the New Plough Lane this campaign.
It appears to be the wise move given the fact that both Chelsea and Arsenal already have a strong youth department with a bunch of talents ready to showcase their talents at the highest level of football. The Gunners, in particular, have emerged as one of the most productive youth academies in English football in recent years.
Even Leeds United have invested a lot in their youth department this summer, notably roping in Arsenal’s attacking sensation Sam Greenwood. He, along with Charlie Allen, have impressed the onlookers this season, so it might make things very difficult for someone like Bartley to find a way into the senior side.
The 16-year-old’s prolonged stay at the New Plough Lane, in contrast, should give him the opportunity to make his professional debut this season. The English League One has already become an appealing staging ground for youngsters, which only bodes well for Bartley as he still needs to hone his skill before taking the next step in his career.