Arsenal centre-back Zach Fagan will join Conference Premier side Welling United when his contract expires at the end of next month.
Fagan, who progressed all the way through Arsenal’s Hale End Academy before signing scholarship terms in 2011, spent time on loan at Boreham Wood last season, but struggled to impress owing to injuries and some untimely misjudgements.
The youngster was set to be let go last Summer, but Arsenal eventually offered him a one-year extension owing to a lack of defensive options at youth level. However, he spent much of the campaign injured, and, during the past two seasons was only afforded two starts for the U21 side. He previously featured regularly for the U18s and is comfortable on the ball, but his reading of the game requires much work.
Welling manager Jamie Day said: “He is a strong defender with a good background who I have kept an eye on, especially in the last few months of last season. He is a good size but is also mobile and can pass and play. He’s another player that I’m excited about working with and trying to improve and develop.”
Fagan’s departure is expected to be the first of many from the Arsenal Academy this Summer. Fellow centre-back Daniel Boateng looks set to be released following an uneventful loan spell at Hibernian, whilst Leander Siemann is another candidate to depart. Decisions must also be made on Benik Afobe, Chuks Aneke and Ignasi Miquel, who all spent time away from the club last season.
Arsenal have already arranged two pre-season fixtures at U21 level. The young Gunners, coached by Steve Gatting and Carl Laraman, will face Harrow Borough on July 26th, with former Arsenal goalkeeper James Shea set to feature for the hosts, before the traditional fixture at Boreham Wood on August 1st.