Arsenal would be wise to beat rivals to sign this 16-year-old Championship gem at the earliest

Why Arsenal should sign this teenage sensation from West Brom soon

According to The Sun, top English clubs Liverpool and Manchester City are in hot pursuit of West Bromwich Albion wonder kid Rico Richards.

The league leaders and City have now joined Arsenal and Tottenham (h/t The Sun) in a transfer race to land the Baggies forward, who turned 16 two months ago.

Despite his young age, he has already spent time training with West Brom’s Under-23 squad – a clear indication of the boy’s talent.

With just one year left on his contract, it is no surprise that top clubs are tracking his progress. However, West Brom must aim to hold on to their wonder boy since losing youngsters Morgan Rogers and Louie Barry to City and Barcelona respectively, as claimed by a Birmingham Mail report.

Arsenal are now sixth in the table after losing 2-0 to Leicester City last Saturday.
Arsenal are now sixth in the table after losing 2-0 to Leicester City last Saturday. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, European champions Liverpool stay unbeaten after 12 games whereas North London side Arsenal slumped to 6th after their 2-0 loss to Leicester City.  

Be it the Reds or the Gunners, Richards should move to newer pastures when the right offer comes around. A move to a bigger club would offer him more exposure and also improve his gaming standards.

Liverpool is in scintillating form as they still remain unbeaten after 12 league matches.
Liverpool is in scintillating form as they still remain unbeaten after 12 league matches. (Getty Images)

In the meantime, let’s quickly analyse which of the above two clubs would suit the young Richards the most.

A real No. 10, Rico is versatile enough to play anywhere in the attack. He can also shift to the wings when required.

Rico, who scored a goal in his debut match for the England Under-17 side, is capable of being a viable long-term option for both Liverpool and Arsenal.

England under-17 players celebrating a goal against Germany under-17 recently.
England under-17 players celebrating a goal against Germany under-17 recently. (Getty Images)

As many as 13 Liverpool youth players have played for their respective nation’s junior side while only five from Arsenal have been lucky enough.

Arsenal, at present, have a world-class attacking midfielder in Mesut Ozil but the German international is beyond his prime and doesn’t look as sharp as he once did.

New addition Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid is also an attacking player but he often initiates attacks from a little deep in the midfield.

Midfielder Dani Ceballos arrived at Arsenal this summer from Real Madrid for a loan.
Midfielder Dani Ceballos arrived at Arsenal this summer from Real Madrid for a loan. (Getty Images)

Liverpool, on the other hand, are in fantasy land under manager Jurgen Klopp, considering the side’s recent achievements. In fact, the Reds also have some top players in their youth system right now.

Amongst many talented youngsters, the Reds have the likes of Rhian Brewster (19), who won the 2017 Under-17 World Cup with England, Curtis Jones (18) and Harvey Elliot (16).

Liverpool's under-17 World Cup winner Rhian Brewster is a future prospect.
Liverpool’s under-17 World Cup winner Rhian Brewster is a future prospect. (Getty Images)

Jones and Elliot have represented England in the Under-18 and Under-17 sides respectively. Jones has played 11 matches till now while Elliot has featured in seven.

All three have also made their senior debuts for the Merseyside club – a clear indication of the depth of attacking talent within their ranks.

However, this is not the case with Arsenal. None of their youth players has found a place in the national sides.

Arsenal's main man in attack Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal’s main man in attack Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Getty Images)

Looking ahead, Liverpool’s future seems a bit brighter than that of their North London counterparts.

Verdict

With a dearth of talent within their ranks, it is crystal clear that Arsenal need to add more firepower to their attack.

The side’s performances in the league this season have been inconsistent under Unai Emery and they need to bounce back quickly in order to gain a Champions League berth once again.

Read more:

Liverpool, at present, look well-drilled for a team and are en route for more glories.

Thus, Arsenal should invest in this teenager sooner rather than later in order to keep their hopes intact and build a better future.

Loading...

Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, traveling and exploring new cultures.
Follow me on Facebook

N'Golo Kante in action for Chelsea. (Getty Images)

Chelsea will receive a massive boost if this £32m star stays put – Agreed?

Scott McTominay has been one of Manchester United's most consistent performers this season. (Getty Images)

This £25,000-a-week star’s latest injury is capable of worsening Man Utd’s woes