Why Arsenal should move for Antonio Zarzana as a long-term prospect

According to claims from Spanish source Estadio Deportivo, as relayed by the Metro, Arsenal have been linked with a move for Spanish teenage sensation Antonio Zarzana, who currently plies his trade with Sevilla in his homeland.

The report adds that Gunners are planning to make the 17-year-old their first signing under Mikel Arteta, who recently took over the reins as the new permanent manager from caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg. 

Zarzana, who is widely regarded as one of the best emerging prospects in Spain, recently turned down a move to Real Madrid while he has also attracted interest from Liverpool and Bayern Munich ahead of the January window. (Estadio Deportivo h/t Metro)

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Mikel Arteta has been unveiled as Arsenal’s new face at the helm of affairs (Getty Images)

The highly-rated teenager is yet to make his first-team bow for Sevilla but he made his professional debut for the reserves in the Spanish second-tier towards the back end of the 2017-18 campaign. 

Zarzana has continued to attract interest from some of Europe’s elite clubs with his rapid development across various age-group levels at Sevilla, whilst also impressing for Spain at U-17 and U-18 levels. 

Essentially a central midfielder by trade, Antonio Zarzana is held in high regard by the youth coaching staff at Sevilla as a player with the potential to go on and ply his trade at the highest level in the years to come. 

To put things into perspective, the Spanish prodigy doesn’t really fit the bill as an immediate game-changer at the Emirates but his obvious talent and vast potential have been there for everybody to see, meaning that Arsenal could have a gem on their hands in the future if Zarzana goes on to realize his potential.

The Gunners have roped in several top-quality young talents from across the globe since the departure of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, with his successor Unai Emery bringing in the likes of Matteo Gundouzi, William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli. 

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Antonio Zarzana has already made his mark for Spain at U-17 and U-18 levels (Getty Images)

Despite their recent struggles in the Premier League, the club’s recruitment team has done a great job when it comes to enriching the squad with bright up and coming players, and that seems likely to continue, with the Gunners now set to operate under a long-term strategy under the stewardship of former club-legend Mikel Arteta.

Verdict

Given Zarzana’s lack of professional exposure at the highest level, the 17-year-old would probably need to prove his worth for the U-23 side at the Premier League 2 level before staking a claim for a first-team role. However, that won’t necessarily be a problem for Arsenal, who would be better off looking at the Spaniard as one for the future. 

Several academy graduates like Emile Smith-Rowe, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah have made the transition to the senior ranks in recent years and Antonio Zarzana could be yet another fantastic addition to the existing pool of burgeoning young talents at the Emirates.

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All in all, Arsenal’s interest in the Sevilla prospect certainly strikes the right chords and he could well be a player to watch out for in the years to come as the Gunners prepare for a new era under Arteta.