Arsenal is planning a move for Ajax teenage sensation Jorrel Hato. The 17-year-old versatile defender is one of the top prospects in all of Europe. Hato previously joined Ajax’s famed youth setup back in 2018. The teen’s current contract is set to expire next year, with the Eredivisie side preparing to offer the youngster a new agreement.

The Gunners previously struck a deal with the Dutch giants for fellow defender Jurrien Timber earlier this summer. Arsenal purchased the Netherlands international for about $44 million. Although Timber was impressive in preseason preparations, he unfortunately suffered a serious knee injury in his first Premier League game. The Dutchman, however, is progressing nicely and should be available for selection in February.

Teen recently admitted to wanting a move to a big club

Hato answered questions about his former teammate’s transfer to Arsenal this past fall. The youngster proclaimed that he hoped to make a similar move in the future as well. “Unfortunately he was seriously injured in his first Premier League game for Arsenal, but he is still young and has a bright future ahead of him,” Hato told ELF Voetbal in October.

“In any case, the move to Arsenal was a wonderful one for him. It is also my dream to one day make such a transfer, but I realize that I still have a very long way to go.”

The Telegraph is reporting that Hato may soon get his wish. The news outlet claims that Arsenal’s interest in the phenom is genuine and manager Mikel Arteta is looking to strengthen his defense. Hato can play at either the center-back or left-back position. He split his time between the two positions exactly in half during the 2022/23 campaign.

The aforementioned news source also reports that Arsenal’s move for Hato could, in turn, trigger a sale of Jakub Kiwior. The fellow defender also plays similar positions as Hato. Nevertheless, Kiwior plays better in central defense and is a direct backup to regular starter Gabriel.

Hato, on the other hand, could then challenge Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back. The Ukrainian is excellent going forward but has struggled in defense throughout the season. Zinchenko also has an unfortunate injury history as well.

Arsenal looking to capitalize on Ajax’s current struggles to get Jorrel Hato

Despite his age, Hato has already captained Ajax once during the current campaign. Head coach John van ‘t Schip gave the 17-year-old star the armband for their final Champions League group stage match. Ajax went on to win the game against AEK Athens, with Hato providing an assist on the game-winning goal.

Hato has been one of the few bright spots for Ajax during the 2023/24 season. While they typically finish near or at the top of the table, the Dutch giants are currently sitting in fifth place in the standings. Not only is it down a few spots in the table, but Ajax is also in a significant hole. It is now 23 points behind league-leaders PSV Eindhoven. Ajax is also eight points away from a European place.

With the team struggling, Hato may want to continue playing European soccer elsewhere. Although Arsenal has interest in the youngster, a summer move may seem to be a more likely scenario for the north London club.