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Mikel Arteta’s first Arsenal transfer signing tp be 17-year-old Sevilla wonderkid Antonio Zarzana, called ‘next Silva’

MIKEL ARTETA is reportedly already making plans to add to the Gunners' beleaguered squad.

The North London giants have recently been credited with an interest in Sevilla's 17-year-old wonderkid Antonio Zarzana.

Arsenal, along with Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Liverpool, have been tracking the midfielder's progress, as he continues to impress at youth level for Spain's U17 side, and with Sevilla's reserves.
And having Arteta as his mentor might just swing the vote for Zarzana, who could see the Premier League side as the perfect place to continue his development.

Arteta has been announced the new permanent manager at Arsenal, who sacked Unai Emery earlier this month.

And reports from Spain say Arsenal have already opened negotiations with the La Liga club.

SIMILAR TO DAVID SILVA

Zarzana has been compared to seasoned Man City playmaker David Silva, who Arteta has worked closely with in training as Pep Guardiola's right-hand man with the league champions.

A natural attacking midfielder, the 5ft 7in star is predominantly left-footed, and is blessed with the attributes needed to thrive at the highest level.

An eye for a pass, pace and acceleration, the ability to ghost past opponents, as well as being a threat at set pieces make Zarzana a constant thorn in the side for the opposition.

And just like Silva, he has the necessary work rate to be a top player in years to come.

DISCOVERED AT EIGHT

Zarzana was discovered by Sevilla's youth team coordinator Pablo Blanco, a man who played 342 times for the club, at the age of eight.

Blanco was immediately struck by the prodigy's close control and comfortability on the ball, and Sevilla snapped him up before Real Madrid or Barcelona got there first.

Last year, aged just 16, Zarzana made his bow for Sevilla B in the Segunda Division against CD Numancia.

But he won't let his rapid rise go to his head.

"My family always tells me to keep my feet on the ground," Zarzana told Marca back in June.

"Daily hard work is the key, praise is good but it can influence you in a negative way.

"To say that I made my debut at the age of 16 is something that I will always be hugely grateful and thankful for.

"I was a bit nervous before the start of the game, but as soon as I got out on the pitch I forgot about the nerves."

NOT SWAYED BY BIG CLUBS CIRCLING

Despite his tender years, Zarzana hasn't been swayed by the recent interest in him either.

"I heard that Real Madrid had put an offer in for me last year, but I have always wanted to make my debut with the first team here," he said.

However, the temptation of joining a bigger club might be too much for the young boy.

In a Champions Cup friendly last summer, Zarzana showed his class - and cheek - with a Panenka-style penalty in a shootout against Real Madrid.

"I had been telling my teammates that I was going to score a penalty like that all week and they just laughed at me," he said.

"When I stepped up to take it, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to try it.

"We did an excellent job because we were all exhausted and Real Madrid pushed us right to the end."

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