Arsenal

Arsenal plot swoop to sign £19m defender with player keen on making “dream” move

Arsenal have identified Ajax star Jorrel Hato as a perfect candidate to strengthen their defence for the present and the future, as per The Telegraph.

Ajax youngster Hato is a versatile left-sided defender, who is comfortable playing at left-back or centre-back. His progression through the club’s ranks has been impressive, and he has already achieved several milestones despite being just 17.

Hato has featured in every minute of every game for Ajax this season, captaining the side despite his youth. The teenager has also earned his first international cap, having played for Netherlands in November when they faced Gibraltar in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
Arsenal have kept an eye on the youngster, and are ready to return to Ajax to do business once more after their dealing with the Dutch giants in the summer.

The Gunners spent a reported £39 million to sign versatile right-sided defender Jurrien Timber from Ajax, and are now seriously considering returning with a move to sign Hato, as per the Telegraph.

Mikel Arteta is a fan of versatility, as he wants his players to be comfortable with occupying different zones of the pitch at different points in games.

Hato is one of the finest young defenders in Europe having made his professional debut only a year ago this month, and the interest from Arsenal is recognition for his good work and development. He has featured 25 times for Ajax this season, scoring one goal and assisting another.

As per the newspaper, Arsenal are unlikely to make a move for the teenager in this transfer window, but will wait until the summer before they try to sign him. The youngster has a valuation of around £19 million, as per Transfermarkt.

Dream move
Should Arsenal formalise their interest, Hato has suggested he would jump at the chance to follow Timber in making a ‘dream’ move to the Premier League. After being quizzed about his former team-mate Timber, Hato is quoted by the Telegraph as saying:
Unfortunately he was seriously injured in his first Premier League game for Arsenal, but he is still young and has a bright future ahead of him.

“In any case, the move to Arsenal was a wonderful one for him. It is also my dream to one day make such a transfer, but I realise that I still have a very long way to go.”

If Arsenal do sign Hato, it will call into question the future of Jacub Kiwior. The Polish international joined Arsenal for £17 million to provide cover and competition for Gabriel Magalhaes as the left-sided centre-back, but the former Spezia man has failed to dislodge the Brazilian.
Kiwior has mostly featured at left-back this season, and he was hauled off at half-time in his most recent start – the defeat against Fulham. The Pole has made only four starts this season, and his future may be away from the club.

Arsenal have already begun to receive enquiries about the availability of Kiwior, mostly from Italian clubs. If the Gunners decide to cash-in on Kiwior, it could open the door for Hato to arrive as his replacement.

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