Arsenal might have signed ‘new Wilfried Zaha’ after deadline day

It was the signing of Thomas Partey that grabbed all the Arsenal headlines on the final day of the window.

The addition of the Ghana international provides Mikel Arteta with the valuable commodity of flexibility, as he looks to continue the rapid progression shown under his stewardship.

But that wasn’t the only deal being struck as the international window closed on Monday night.

The Gunners picked up two players for their academy, with the double signing of Joel Ideho and Nikolaj Moller announced on Tuesday.

Both will join the Professional Development Phase at Arsenal’s Hale End academy.

And it’s the acquisition of Ideho that has made news, after the winger left Ajax, just months after signing for them.

The 17-year-old only completed a move to the Dutch giants in July, but following their reluctance to offer him professional terms, Arsenal made their move.

Ideho, who can play on either wing, was highly rated in Amsterdam, although they wanted to see more from him before a new contract was offered.

Arsenal reportedly beat Hertha Berlin and Premier League rivals Southampton to his signature, with the youngster claiming their stronger plan ensured they won the race.

“Arsenal had a strong and better plan for me than the other clubs and I personally think I will develop better at Arsenal than the other clubs,” he told All Nigeria Soccer.

And when asked who he would compare himself to, Arsenal’s new winger cited long-term target Wilfried Zaha.

Ironically, the Gunners were linked with the Zaha for much of the window, before signing a player who models himself on the Crystal Palace talisman.

He added: “I would say that my game is inspired by Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace because he’s a creative player with fast pace.

“My strengths would be my pace and my actions one-v-one.”

Ideho will now hope to impress Arsenal academy manager Per Mertesacker and become the latest in a long line of talented youngsters to break into Arteta’s first team squad.

The likes of Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka have all been offered significant playing time under the Spaniard, with Mertesacker admitting he loves to give the Arsenal boss selection dilemmas.

“We are really keen on giving Mikel Arteta a lot of headaches, you know,” Mertesacker said earlier this year.

“He must be thinking, ‘What’s going on in the academy?’ Every year there is the potential two, three players who can step onto that court.

“But I know his standards, I know what he stands for, so I need to prepare the players really well so when they step into the first-team environment they are ready and prepared.”

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