According to The Mirror, Arsenal have signed Luton Town youngster Tarum Dawkins for a “significant transfer fee” according to the clubs official website.
The 16-year-old winger is the latest talent to graduate from the acclaimed Luton youth programme and sign for a Premier League club, after Chelsea signed three junior prospects from the club in January.
Dawkins has been training with Arsenal for the last few months and has featured for the Gunners under-16 team, but now the winger is eligible for a scholarship so the prolonged transfer has gone through.
Head of Youth Gregg Broughton told lutontown.co.uk:
This deal has been a lot more drawn out than others completed by the club in the last two years, and this reflects the level of interest show in Tarum.
Immediately after our loss in the play-offs last season we were told that Tarum felt his future lay away from Kenilworth Road, and now after nine months of negotiations, we are delighted that Tarum has found a club that he feels can help him fulfil his dream of playing at the highest level.
He is very quick both with and without the football, can play off both feet and therefore he will fit in very well with Arsenal’s style of play. Playing on either wing he is capable of beating full backs on both the inside and outside making him very difficult to play against.
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Tarum initially started in our Performance Centre at Crawley Green and, after impressing in this environment he was promoted to the Centre of Excellence as an Under-13. Last season he regularly played up a year in the Under-16s where he was regularly monitored by the England scouts and most of the Premier League clubs.
Despite the club’s current non-league status, we continue to produce players with Premier League pedigree. Whilst we have now sold a number of elite players, it must be recognised that these youngsters have joined some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
We still retain a large number of excellent young footballers across all of the age groups, as is demonstrated by the six recent first team debuts. Luton Town is still recognised as one of the foremost breeding grounds for identifying and developing Premier League players in the country.
We never like to lose talented players from the club, but after sitting down with Tarum and his family last month we recognised that he was desperate to join Arsenal, and as I have said before, if players are unsettled and wish to look elsewhere, and the deal is right for all parties, then it is the most sensible way to progress.
We would like to thank Arsenal for the professional manner in which they have conducted themselves and wish Tarum the very best for his ongoing career.
Dawkins was reportedly attracting interest from a massive 14 clubs in the UK and has been tipped for the top so it is good news that he chose Arsenal over the host of other clubs.
The amount of young English talent heading to the Emirates is certainly encouraging and it’s good to see them developing through the ranks at Arsenal especially with the homegrown rule making Englishman worth even more.
Congratulations Tarum and welcome (officially) to Arsenal FC!!