Arsenal centre-back Zach Awe has signed his first professional contract with the club and joined the Europa League squad list, after recently turning 17.
Arsenal academy defender Zach Awe had his 17th birthday in January, making him eligible for professional terms with the club. They’ve now announced a new deal for him, after adding him to the Europa League squad B-list earlier in the day.
UEFA officially confirmed the updates to Arsenal’s Europa League squad on Monday, with Arsenal adding Awe and six others. You have to have a professional contract to join the list, so this was a clear giveaway that an announcement was imminent.
Awe mostly plays centre-back, but he can also play deep in midfield. This season, he’s been needed more in central defence, so that’s where he’s made all of his appearances.
The youngster made his u23 debut against Blackburn Rovers in November, when he was still 16. He helped them to a clean sheet in a 6-0 victory. That remains his only u23 appearance so far, though he did also make the squad against Chelsea in October.
For the most part, Awe has played for the u18s, making nine appearances and six starts.
The England u16 international is already tall enough to be a senior defender, though, like most players his age, he still has room to bulk up and gain experience at u23 level before making the jump to the first team.
Mikel Arteta probably won’t use the centre-back in a senior squad this season, but Arsenal have him available in case of any defensive emergencies. With the current pandemic going on, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Congratulations to Zach on his progress this season and on his new deal!