Centre-back Zach Fagan is poised to be offered a second chance at Arsenal after the club reversed their initial decision to release him.
The 18-year-old, who came through the club’s Hale End system, has impressed in patches since signing his scholarship two years ago, but has also made several costly and avoidable errors during that time and was expected to be released when his deal expired at the end of this month.
However, after fellow centre-back Elton Monteiro turned down Arsenal’s offer of a new deal in favour of a move to Club Brugge, Fagan has now been offered an extension of his scholarship, which would see the youngster become a third-year scholar next season- the first Arsenal player to do so for over a decade.
Fagan is now too old for the U18s after the overage rule for outfield players was eradicated last year, but Arsenal already have Tom Dallison, Arinse Uade, Stefan O’Connor, Elliot Wright and potentially Julio Pleguezuelo Selva to operate at the heart of defence at that level.
Fagan, if he chooses to accept Arsenal’s offer, will provide the club with a much-needed option at U21 level, with only Daniel Boateng, Ignasi Miquel and Isaac Hayden left to choose from at centre-back in the second-string. Boateng is entering his final season at the club and could spend much of the campaign out on loan, Miquel is in desperate need of a loan spell himself and Hayden will be hopeful of playing more regularly as a defensive-midfielder, meaning that Fagan, who made his debut at that level against Blackburn Rovers last season, could receive plenty of game-time.