Young Arsenal goalkeeper Josh Vickers is poised to join Isthmian League Premier side Canvey Island on loan.
The 17-year-old shot-stopper, who is currently striving to earn his first professional contract at Emirates Stadium, made 16 appearances for the U18s during the first year of his scholarship, as well as making the bench in both the FA Youth Cup and the NextGen Series.
A product of the club’s Hale End Academy, Vickers possesses a calm demeanour and impressive reflexes and made his debut for the U21s towards the end of last season against Wolverhampton Wanderers before going on to feature in three of the club’s pre-season friendlies at that level this summer.
It is his performances in those fixtures which is likely to have attracted the interest of Canvey Island, although, at present it is unclear exactly how long Vickers is likely to spend at Park Lane. He is unlikely to be registered in time to feature against Cray Wanderers tomorrow night, but could be part of the squad for the trip to face Lewes on Saturday.
Vickers’ potential departure means that first-year scholar and England youth international Ryan Huddart is likely to be installed as the first choice goalkeeper for the U18s during the early part of the season, raising the possibility that a schoolboy shot-stopper, such as Corey Addai or Harry Girling, could make the bench for this weekend’s season opener against Liverpool.
As far as the U21s are concerned, Argentinian goalkeeper Damian Martinez could still feature regularly for the second-string despite being on the verge of being promoted to the senior squad having impressed during pre-season, whilst Deyan Iliev, who was signed from FK Belasica last year, should also receive plenty of opportunities to shine.
Update: It has been confirmed that Vickers has joined Canvey Island on a season-long loan.