Kristopher Da Graca Claims He Is Set to Join Arsenal

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 9, 2013

Teenage Swedish defender Kristopher Da Graca will join Arsenal's youth setup next summer, according to comments made by the player to (article in Swedish).

Da Graca told the Swedish football website, per Nick Lustig of the Daily Star:

Arsenal are a big and good club. 

I've had a chance to become a good soccer player, it feels good. At first though I will have to train with them in my own age. [...]

It could be next week or the following week [that the contract is signed]. [...]

Moving to England is confirmed but not this year. 

I will move there the summer of 2014. Me and my dad wanted me to [get my] education first.

The 15-year-old defender currently plays for Swedish Division Four side Hisingbacka FC, but impressed the North London outfit during a trial at the club in August. Arsenal youth follower Jeorge Bird, meanwhile, told Arseblog that the youngster can also play in defensive midfield.

With Hisingbacka's club chairman, Thoman Albinsson, confirming that a suitable price had been arranged for the player's services, per Lustig's article, it would appear the transfer should be completed with minimal fuss.

According to David Wright of the Express, Arsenal moved quickly to secure the player amid competition for his signature from Chelsea, Tottenham and Aston Villa.

A centre-back, Da Graca would likely feed into the Arsenal setup at Under-18 level next summer—competing in the Premier League academy league and, potentially, at Under-19 level in the UEFA Youth League.

In joining Arsenal, he will become the third Swedish youngster on the club's books, alongside countrymen Kristoffer Olsson and Jamaal Raage.

Attacking midfielder Olsson, 18, played with the first team on their preseason tour of Asia this summer and is one of the club's best-regarded prospects. Meanwhile Raage, a 16-year-old striker, joined from Brommapojkarna this summer.

Arsenal fans will have to wait to see Da Graca in action, with the player unable to sign scholarship terms until his 16th birthday in January and set to wait until the summer to move.

He is, though, just the latest addition in the Gunners' extensive policy of youth recruitment under Arsene Wenger that also saw 16-year-olds Raage, Dan Crowley of Aston Villa and Julio Pleguezuelo of Barcelona join the club's ranks this summer.