Arsenal and Chelsea ‘trying to sign next John Stones’ as Mikel Arteta eyes second transfer | Football | Sport

Arsenal and Chelsea are preparing for a transfer battle this summer over Aberdeen B team starlet Lewis Carroll. The 15-year-old is yet to make his debut at senior level, but has already earned rave reviews and been likened to England centre-back John Stones.

The Scottish club inadvertently raised the hype around the teenager last May though, when they announced he had won their Amplus Awards Talent of the Month award. And according to the Athletic, the two London clubs are at the front of a long queue of clubs tracking his progress.

Carroll, who has already established a reputation for being composed and classy at the back, is yet to sign a professional contract with the SPL club. That could prove ideal for Chelsea, who are currently hampered by Financial Fair Play restrictions – a problem that could ironically be enhanced if they win Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

But the Blues have long adopted a policy of bringing talented youngsters to the club before loaning them out for senior experience. Carroll could face a critical decision as to whether he wants to follow suit, or opt for continuity at one club to aid his development.

Arsenal’s interest could also prove a major barrier to Todd Boehly’s hopes of bringing the youngster to Stamford Bridge. Mikel Arteta has developed a reputation for trusting young talent, and while Carroll has a considerable way to go to be considered a regular Premier League performer, that notion may be a persuasive factor.

And Carroll might not be the only teenager coming to the Emirates this summer. The Sun has reported that that club are also closing in on another 15-year-old, Rangers midfielder Alexander Smith.

The dual citizen has already gained international recognition for two different countries, representing USA Under-15s and Scotland Under-16s. And he hit the headlines at the East Mallorca Cup last April, winning four Player of the Match awards in just five games at the youth tournament.

The Scottish club would be due a six-figure sum in compensation were Arsenal to seal his signature. And with talks reportedly due to open between the two parties, the intentions of the Premier League club are clear.

Arteta’s focus on youth signings follows a £200million spending spree last summer. Similarly to Chelsea, the club now appear in a position where income through sales is needed before they can splash out on further big money transfers.

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