Connor Wickham Pursued by Arsenal; Carlos Vela Possibly to Espanyol

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IDecember 26, 2010

IPSWICH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 18:  Connor Wickham of Ipswich Town in action during the Coca-Cola Championship match between Ipswich Town and Crystal Palace at Portman Road on August 18, 2009 in Ipswich, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Arsene Wenger refused to rule out January signings when questioned and said that he would sign a player if he was available at the right price and would add quality to the squad. Arsenal is a club that has developed many youngsters to help them realize their potential which makes the club an attractive destination for them.

Connor Wickham is only 17 years old and is rated highly by his manager Roy Keane and many other clubs. The young Englishman has already made several appearances for his side Ipswich Town, who will be meeting Arsenal in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup. The Striker was also recently called up by Stuart Pearce to represent England's U-21 team.

The tall Englishman has enjoyed great success for England U-17 and has been tipped for greater success in the future. The English striker has not scored too many for Ipswich Town but has not started too many games either and certainly has a lot of time on his side. He has to develop further and could be an England International in the future.

According to reports, Liverpool has made an approach for the Englishman but Wickham is said to prefer a move to North London, with both Arsenal and Tottenham competing for his signature. Arsenal is allegedly leading the chase to sign him and could sign him by the start of the 2010-11 season.

Arsenal has an excellent manager in Arsene Wenger who has helped many youngsters develop at the club and has provided them opportunities in the first team. Wickham has talent and is sure to progress playing with the club. The tall Ipswich Town striker could prefer Arsenal over other clubs because of their history in developing good young players.

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Arsene Wenger has given lot of opportunities to young players like Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere to progress at the club, but talented youngster Carlos Vela has not made the squad in the recent games and is said to be disappointed by that. He is currently the fourth choice striker behind Nicklas Bendtner, Robin van Persie and Marouane Chamakh and he has started only in the Carling Cup games.

Carlos Vela had a successful loan spell in Spain in his early years at Arsenal and could consider a move to the La Liga. Espanyol are said to be interested in acquiring his services and Wenger could let the striker leave if the right offer comes his way. The Mexican International is undoubtedly talented but has very less opportunities this season and at the age of 21, he needs to be playing regularly.

Arsenal are on the look—out for good young players of the future and have already signed Samuel Galindo, Wellington Silva and Ryo Miyaichi with an eye for the future. Connor Wickham could the latest addition to that list if Wenger decides the spend the required money to acquire the services of the young Striker.

This article is also featured on The Invincible Gunners, a blog on Arsenal