Transfer Rumour: Arsenal set to beat European giants for Nigerian wonderkid Lateef Omidiji Jr
What’s the story?
Arsenal have reportedly beaten a host of European giants for the signature of 13-year-old Nigerian wonderkid Lateef Omidiji Jr, as per recent reports. There were very few European elites who were not interested in the services of the young prodigy who plays for Sparta Rotterdam.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Ajax, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were reportedly in the running for the USA-born Nigerian wonderkid, but Arsene Wenger is set to prise him away to the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger is not typically known for wrapping up deals late in the day, but Arsenal are trying to do early business which will definitely please the fans.
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(Video Courtesy: Lateef Omidiji Jr YouTube Channel)
Omidiji Jr has been christened as ‘the new Memphis Depay’ in the Netherlands after impressive showings on the flanks, just like the former Manchester United winger did. Just like Depay, Omidiji has come through the ranks at Sparta Rotterdam and has shown glimpses of quality.
Nigeria’s Under-15s team have already reportedly reserved a place for him in the squad after he was scouted by coach Danladi Nasidi. Nasidi submitted an excellent report of Omidiji Jr after watching him play in America and told Goal, “He has speed, focus, the technique is so good, the tactical approach is fine and he has the physical ability. These things combine to make a good footballer.”
The heart of the matter
Omidiji is just 13 years of age and even if he progresses at a remarkable rate, he will take at least four or five years from breaking into the first-team. It is public knowledge that Arsene Wenger is known to develop young players.
The Nigerian youngster is a highly-rated winger with lots of promise and would benefit from joining Arsenal.
This could be Wenger’s last season as a manager, and even if he stays for a few more years, it is unlikely that Omidiji will player under the French manager. Wenger is the biggest well-wisher of the club and would be looking to build a team for the future as he passes the torch to his successor.
Omidiji would be a signing for the future and beating so many big clubs for his services is a massive statement from the Gunners.
This deal does not change anything immediately. As we have said earlier, it is a signing that could be beneficial for the Gunners in the long run, and Omidiji has to keep up his excellent progress and earn a professional contract. He has time on his hand and will get the right guidance at Arsenal, if he does make the big step to England.
Considering the fact that he is right now playing in the Netherlands and Ajax are also interested in his signature, the Amsterdam side would probably be the best possible destination for him.