Aston Villa Close To Signing Arsenal Teenager Samir Carruthers

One young Gunner seems set to spurn London in favour of Birmingham...
Aston Villa are seemingly on the verge of landing the services of one of Arsenal youth team products, as they close in on signing Samir Carruthers from the Gunners.

The young winger was captain of the Arsenal Under-16s, and made an appearance for the Under-18s against their Watford equivalents in March.

Villa academy director Bryan Jones was delighted with the swoop, telling The Birmingham Mail, "He was offered a contract by Arsenal and turned it down. We were given permission by Arsenal to speak to him.

"We have agreed in principle a contract and hopefully he is going to sign for us on July 1st."

Jones also believes that the fact that Villa boss Martin O'Neill is prepared to give youngsters chances in the first team was a factor in the player deciding to move to the West Midlands.

"He was allowed by Arsenal to view other clubs. He went to Fulham who I know offered him a contract," Jones added.

“He came to us and played a couple of games. We liked what we saw. We knew him anyway because he had played against us about six weeks beforehand.

"It has been ongoing since then really. He had a choice of one or two clubs, but he has decided to join us and that’s where we are at the moment.

"I think what swung it for us was two things. Firstly, the facilities which are a great pulling factor these days. And the family are also aware that young players are given a chance by Martin if they are good enough.

"I think that won it for us really."

Zack Wilson, Goal.com