Donyell Malen to Arsenal: Latest Transfer Details, Reaction and More

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2015

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Arsenal fans show their support prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on April 26, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal have completed the signing of Donyell Malen from Ajax, according to the Dutch club’s official website (in Dutch).

The 16-year-old is rated as one of the brightest talents on the continent. As quoted in the aforementioned piece (h/t George Ankers of Goal.com), Wim Jonk, Ajax’s head of youth development, has lamented the loss of a player he clearly regards highly:

Donyell is a great talent. It is extremely unfortunate that he is leaving Ajax.

We have made him an excellent offer and presented a clear development plan but the player has still made another choice, which is disappointing. The potential is clear and the opportunities will come with Ajax. We are continuing with the guys who do believe in it.

(L-R) Dennis Bergkamp of Ajax and Wim Jonk of Ajax attend the appeal from Ajax directors against court ruling on January 18, 2011 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Four members of Ajax supervisory board, who appointmented Louis Van Gaal as the club's director, a
VI-Images/Getty Images

The Eredivisie giants have an outstanding record when it comes to bringing young players through the academy and into the first team, but Malen clearly feels as though his development would be better served with the Gunners.

Here’s a glimpse of what Arsenal supporters can expect from their latest acquisition:

Malen is a forward who possesses all the talents you would expect of a player crafted by the Ajax academy. Not only is he supremely quick, the 16-year-old is a wonderful technician who possesses an intelligence on the ball which far surpasses his tender years.

Wenger has pulled off a coup in signing Malen.
Wenger has pulled off a coup in signing Malen.David Rogers/Getty Images

As noted by Messi Minutes, Malen is represented by well-known agent Mino Raiola—who is also the agent of stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku—and he had high praise for the prodigious talent recently:

Of all the big clubs in England, Arsenal are one of the most willing to give youngsters a chance. But as talented as Malen is, it’s unlikely he’ll be making an impression in the first team for a while yet.

For the Gunners, it’s encouraging to see the club scouring Europe for the finest young prospects. Plucking these gems from other teams’ academies is a tactic that has served the Londoners well in the past, and Malen is a player worth keeping an eye on in the club’s youth team for years to come.

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