According to The Telegraph, Arsenal are ‘plotting a move’ for Ajax’s 17-year-old star Jorrel Hato. Mikel Arteta is reportedly keen to bolster his defensive options and Hato would certainly provide versatility at the back. The youngster is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in Europe at the moment and it comes as no surprise that various top clubs are showing interest.
Before anything goes ahead, a couple of questions need to be answered. Is the 2006-born talent ready for a move to the Premier League and could he solve Arsenal’s issues at the back?
Hato has already admitted it would be a ‘dream’ to follow in the footsteps of his former team-mate Jurriën Timber after his move to the Emirates last summer. The defender has already become the youngest starting captain for Ajax in European history and he’s the fifth youngest player ever to have represented the Netherlands national team.
Jorrel Hato has been Ajax’s most consistent player this season, having featured in every minute of league action for the Amsterdam club. Hato played a huge part in Ajax’s turnaround, as they crawled up from the bottom of the Eredivisie table and into fifth place. The centre-back has also played in six Europa League games this season. He’s yet to suffer from any injury issues in his short professional career, which will be a key factor in Arsenal’s potential pursuit.
Everything Jorrel Hato has endured so far shows that he could fit perfectly into a Premier League side. His physical and aerial presence stand out, along with his remarkable leadership qualities which can be a boost to any club. Hato can play in the centre of defence, or as a left-back. Something we’ve seen Mikel Arteta do so often is shuffling his defenders, shifting the likes of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, and Jakub Kiwior into different areas at the back.
Arsenal have already conceded 20 goals in the Premier League this season, letting Luton net three times, Chelsea and Tottenham both twice as well as other clubs scoring against them. Jorrel Hato has been part of an Ajax side that have conceded far too many goals this season, but a huge strength of his is helping to create goals. He’s excellent at playing out from the back and getting the ball forward quickly, and he’s even racked up a goal and an assist himself.
With just 18 months remaining on his current contract, we could see Arsenal making a move for Jorrel Hato very soon. A move this month seems rather unlikely, but give him six to seven more months in Amsterdam and he might be ready for a big money move to North London. Hato has already shown qualities that can suit a Premier League side, but certain areas of his game could be strengthened. Transfermarkt value Hato at approximately €22m, but Ajax will also certainly ask for more than double that when a club like Arsenal comes calling.