West Ham United have today completed the signing of Arsenal youngster George Dobson on a permanent deal.
The 17-year-old, who progressed through the Gunners’ Hale End system, informed the Arsenal coaching staff at the end of last season that he was intent on leaving the club. He spent time training with the West Ham first-team earlier this summer and, following some protracted negotiations, the deal has now been concluded, much to the delight of Dobson, who is a lifelong West Ham supporter.
Capable of playing at centre-back or as a defensive-midfielder and possessing good leadership qualities, Dobson broke into Arsenal’s U18 team as a schoolboy and went on to make 45 appearances in total at that level. He also featured in the UEFA Youth League and last season made inroads into Arsenal’s U21 side, featuring on nine occasions for the second-string.
Dobson is the second Arsenal youngster to defect to West Ham in recent years, with striker Jordan Brown having done likewise in 2013. The Gunners did, however, sign midfielder Ben Sheaf from the East London club last year.
Dobson is a player with considerable potential, but his decision to leave appears to have centred on his future first-team prospects. With players such as Isaac Hayden and Krystian Bielik blocking his path at Arsenal, he has decided to move on to pastures new.