News24

Arsenal poach Barcelona youth

2011-02-23 19:01

Barcelona - Arsenal has poached another player from Barcelona's lauded youth academy.

Barcelona confirmed Wednesday that 16-year-old Jon Toral is set to follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and join the Gunners from next season.

Spanish reports said the north London club paid €350 000 for Toral, who was free to sign with any professional team.

Toral came through the Spanish champion's La Masia ranks like new teammate Fabregas and fellow prospect Fran Merida, who were both signed by Arsenal as teenagers. World Cup champion Fabregas is captain at Arsenal and Merida is now with Atletico Madrid.

Arsenal also signed 18-year-old Ignasi Miquel from Barcelona in 2008, with the defender playing in Sunday's 1-1 FA Cup draw at Leyton Orient.

The lanky Toral, who is listed as a midfielder in Barcelona's youth team, reportedly has roots in Britain, where his mother is from.

Arsenal isn't the only English club to raid La Masia after Manchester United signed Gerard Pique in 2003. But the Spain defender has since returned to Barcelona where he has helped the two-time defending Spanish champion to eight trophies in the last two-plus seasons.

Barcelona has been clear that it wishes to sign Fabregas back from Arsenal, with the club even making an official bid for the player last summer.

In a further twist, Toral's agent who engineered the move is Pere Guardiola - brother of current Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

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Comments
  • mupet-killer - 2011-02-23 20:57

    cant english clubs find their own players for once. arse-ne wenger has won sweet fk all in the last 5-6 years, why is he still arse-nal coach? he is so lucky.

      Knoppix - 2011-02-24 13:06

      Well Muppet for your info Man United and Arsenal boast the best youth academies in England hence they are two of the most successfull teams in Europe.

      Hloni - 2011-03-09 11:10

      Arsenal are not successful in Europe. There are more Frenchmen and Spaniards in Arsenal than they are Englishmen never mind Londoners. There is no English identity in so called English teams

  • mupet-killer - 2011-02-23 20:57

    cant english clubs find their own players for once. arse-ne wenger has won sweet fk all in the last 5-6 years, why is he still arse-nal coach? he is so lucky.

      Jacques - 2011-02-25 13:42

      yet somehow without funds has managed to keep arsenal in the top 4 each year - whether you like him or not I have respect for him as a manager. Sure he has made mistakes but his ability to spot youngsters who turn into stars is without question

  • Paul - 2011-02-23 22:45

    Wenger offers the opportunity of first team football plus a trophy on its way come sunday.Get a grip why pay 50 mil for a player when you can buy potential and develop someone for nothen who will win trophys

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