Teenage prospect Joe Jones signs for Leicester City ahead of the Gunners
Leicester City have beaten Arsenal to the signing of a top teenage prospect.
Centre-back Joe Jones has decided to join City ahead of the Gunners because he feels he will get more opportunities at the Walkers Stadium.
The 16-year-old, who has been capped at under-15 level for Northern Ireland, has come through the youth ranks at Kingstonian, Wangas in Tolworth and Sutton United, and had been training with Arsenal, but has decided to join City instead.
After initially being told he would not be retained, Jones produced some excellent performances to prompt Arsenal academy head coaches Liam Brady and David Court to have a rethink and offer him a two-year scholarship.
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Liverpool also showed an interest, but the teenager opted for City because of the club’s reputation for developing young talent.
“Joe is one of a number of under-16 players who I am delighted to say will be joining us for pre-season,” said City academy manager Jon Rudkin.
“He is a player we have been looking at for some time and we have seen him play for Northern Ireland.
“He has identified there are opportunities at Leicester, as have a number of other boys.”
City finished top of their academy league last season after going through their entire league programme unbeaten and only tasted defeat on one occasion, in the FA Youth Cup at home to Liverpool.
City’s proposed pre-season friendly at Burton Albion has been called off.
The game was provisionally pencilled in to take place at the Pirelli Stadium for June 10 but has now been cancelled.