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Arsenal starlet Ayden Heaven 'attracting Premier League interest'

Arsenal starlet Ayden Heaven 'attracting PL interest'
© Reuters
Arsenal's 17-year-old starlet Ayden Heaven is reportedly attracting interest from Premier League clubs.

Arsenal starlet Ayden Heaven is reportedly attracting interest from Premier League clubs.

The 17-year-old put pen to paper on scholarship terms with the Gunners last summer, but he is yet to sign a professional contract with the club.

Heaven is rated highly by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who has called upon the youngster to take part in several first-team training sessions this season.

The versatile teenager, who can operate as either a centre-midfielder, centre-back or left-back, travelled with the senior squad and watched on as an unused substitute as Arsenal lost 1-0 away against Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Heaven has featured regularly for the Gunners at Under-18 and Under-21s level this season, making a combined 18 appearances across all competitions, including six outings in the Premier League 2.

According to the Evening Standard, Heaven's development has caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs who have been scouting the youngster at youth level for some time.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta pictured on December 12, 2023© Reuters

Heaven is said to have been a big Arsenal fan growing up, but he opted to join West Ham United at the age of eight and spent four years in the Hammers' youth system.

At the age of 12, Heaven then spent a few months on trial at Chelsea, but the West Londoners decided against keeping the youngster, who eventually moved to Arsenal's academy despite interest from Fulham.

Heaven, who was part of Arsenal's scholarship intake last summer along with the likes of Ethan Nwaneri and Myles Lewis-Skelly, recently admitted that first-team stars including Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah have given him inspiration to make the next step in his career.

"I was one of the lucky few to get my scholarship a year early, so I knew this time last year that I was going to be playing for the Under-18s at London Colney," Heaven told Arsenal's official website.

"Seeing the first team players like Saka, [Gabriel] Martinelli, Nketiah and [Martin] Odegaard etc. is amazing because we look up to them and it's inspiring.

"I've trained with the first team a couple of times and the intensity is crazy! You get dizzy sometimes because it's at such a quick tempo. The difference between Under-18s, Under-21s and the first team is unbelievable."

It remains to be seen whether Heaven will feature again in Arsenal's senior matchday squad when they welcome Newcastle United to the Emirates Stadium for a Premier League clash on Saturday night.

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6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
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8West Ham UnitedWest Ham34139125463-948
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11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33127144653-743
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