According to the Mirror, Arsenal are targeting Hull City’s 17-year old left back Josh Tymon. The Gunners face competition as Everton manager Ronald Koeman has set his sites on the teenage defender, as well.
Apparently, Arsenal and Everton sent scouts to watch Tymon in Hull City’s fourth round EFL Trophy 2-1 win against Bristol City on Tuesday. Both clubs are looking to move for the defender during the upcoming winter transfer window this January.
Tymon emerged in Hull City’s first team after first choice left back Andy Robertson sustained a calf injury that will keep him out two months. The 17-year old performed well on Tuesday and Hull manager Mike Phelan is set to grant the youngster an extended stay in the first team.
Arsenal currently have Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs on the books. Both are first team caliber left backs, but an upgrade is needed for various reasons. Monreal has performed exceptionally well the past two seasons but just turned 30. Gibbs came through Arsenal’s youth system and is a solid England international. His development has stalled, though, and opportunities with the first team are slim. At age 27, Gibbs needs to be starting and will have to move elsewhere for that to happen.
Left back has long been an area of the squad that Arsene Wenger has looked to improve. Monreal was brought in from Malaga in 2013 to provide competition for Gibbs. Eventually, the Spaniard claimed the starting spot with a series of excellent performances in 2014. However, this summer, Arsenal were linked to a host of young left backs including Ricardo Rodriguez, Raphael Guerreiro, and Ben Chilwell. It’s become clear that Wenger is looking for a younger player to challenge Gibbs and Monreal.
It’s likely that if another left back were brought in, Gibbs would be allowed to move on. However, considering Tymon’s youth, you’d expect him to serve as understudy to both Monreal and Gibbs until he’s developed more.
One caveat that makes this transfer interesting is that Tymon has yet to sign professional terms. That means Arsenal and Everton could both offer him a professional contract and then agree a compensation fee with Hull.
Considering the hype surrounding Tymon and his rapid growth to the first team, you’d expect Hull to offer their prized young asset a contract soon.