Arsenal were one of several teams who had scouts present to watch Carlisle United teen Jarrad Branthwaite this weekend.
According to The News & Star, scouts from Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester City, Celtic and Rangers watched Branthwaite at the weekend. He featured as Carlisle drew 1-1 with League Two strugglers Morecambe.
Scouts from England and Scotland were eager to check on Branthwaite at Morecambe’s Globe Arena. It was his seventh league outing for the Cumbrian outfit and he featured in defensive midfield.
Branthwaite usually operates at centre-back. The towering defender already has the build to match the physicality of the senior game. But he displayed his versatility in front of onlooking scouts.
Arsenal, Leicester and Man City are hoping to lure the 17-year-old to the Premier League. But the Old Firm pair hope he will move north of the border. Newcastle United are not mentioned in this report but The Shields Gazette reported last week that the Magpies have first refusal.
Branthwaite is destined for a big move – if not in January, then next summer. The talented teenager is already thriving at first-team level for Carlisle and the League Two side face a battle to keep him.
Arsenal have had a number of defensive problems this season. While Branthwaite is not an immediate fix, he could be the long-term solution for the Gunners.