Arsenal make their first January signing as Omar Rekik joins from Hertha Berlin… but teenage centre back will initially join up with the club’s Under 23s squad
- Young centre back Omar Rekik has signed a professional contract with Arsenal
- Gunners confirmed the move, before revealing he will start off with the U23s
- Mikel Arteta has revealed his excitement about the 19-year-old prospect
- The Gunners boss said Rekik is a ‘young talent with a very bright future’
Rekik trained with the club’s Under 23s on Wednesday at their London Colney base before Gunners boss Mikel Arteta admitted the deal would be announced ‘very soon’.
And the Gunners confirmed the expected news on Thursday afternoon, announcing the 19-year-old – who in fact moved to London three weeks ago – will initially join up with the Under 23s squad after signing his professional contract.
Arsenal have completed the signing of Omar Rekik after he took part in training with Under 23s
After completing his deal, Rekik told Arsenal’s official website: ‘It feels great to be here after a long time of hard work. It feels great. I moved in three weeks ago and I’ve been in quarantine, so I can’t wait to get started.’
When asked why he choose Arsenal, he replied: ‘The warmth of the people and the interest that they showed in me, and of course, when a club like Arsenal is interested, I don’t think anyone needs to think twice.’
Rekik, who has been tipped for a bright future, is a ball playing centre back and is equally comfortable on either side.
Rekik, who was born in the Netherlands, has played internationally at youth level for both Holland and Tunisia.
Rekik, who is a ball playing centre back, has joined from Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin
Prior to moving to Hertha Berlin, the defender had spent time at Feyenoord, Manchester City, PSV Eindhoven and Marseille.
Arsenal had reached a deal with Hertha Berlin to sign Rekik for £900,000 on the final day of the summer transfer window. However, the switch was not signed off in time forcing, both clubs to hold off until January.
As a result, the fee for the 19-year-old has come down to around £540,000 due to the delay – according to The Metro.
And Arteta has since revealed his excitement about snapping up the young centre back for the future.
Mikel Arteta has revealed his excitement about Arsenal’s capture of the teenage centre back
When quizzed on the impending transfer, Arteta said: ‘He’s a young talent that we’ve been following for a while that we believe has a really bright future. But we will give more details when we can.’
Rekik has not yet made a senior appearance for a club – having only represented Hertha Berlin at youth level.
The 19-year-old has, however, been exposed to the match-day experience, having made the bench on three occasions.
Per Mertesacker, current Arsenal academy coach, is said to have played a key part in making the deal happen between the Gunners and Rekik.