Arsenal plotting summer move for versatile Ajax defender

  • Arsenal are interested in signing teenage Ajax defender Jorrel Hato
  • 17-year-old has captained Ajax this season
  • Summer move is more likely than January
17-year-old Jorrel Hato has been a rare bright spot for Ajax in an otherwise bleak season
17-year-old Jorrel Hato has been a rare bright spot for Ajax in an otherwise bleak season / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Arsenal are reportedly 'plotting' a move for 17-year-old Ajax defender Jorrel Hato, but a move is more likely to transpire in the summer.

Supporters are clamouring for mid-season reinforcements, but January is always a tricky market to navigate and the Gunners aren't exactly operating with an unlimited budget this winter.

The club could do with upgrades across the pitch, with Mikel Arteta targeting a versatile defender capable of fulfilling multiple roles within his backline. Arsenal are said to have identified Hato as a talent capable of bolstering the Spaniard's defence for the long haul.

Arsenal plotting summer move for Ajax defender Jorrel Hato

While Arsenal's interest in the teenager isn't exactly long-standing, outlets have been aware of the Gunners' admiration and he's been seen as a player the club could move in 2024.

The Telegraph's Sam Dean writes that Hato is of undoubted interest, with the club set to explore a move. However, a summer deal is more likely.

The versatile centre-back has been a rare bright spot in an otherwise woeful season for Ajax thus far. He's shown tremendous quality across the Dutch side's defence, even captaining them on occasions.

The Dutchman would be regarded as a distinct upgrade over Jakub Kiwior, who could be on the move at some point this year, while Oleksandr Zinchenko has endured a disappointing season after helping to transform the Gunners in 2022/23.

Arsenal recently dipped into the Ajax well when they signed Jurrien Timber ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. However, the Dutch international hasn't featured since Matchday 1 of the Premier League season after tearing his ACL.

Hato was asked about Timber's switch to north London in an interview with Elfvoetbal back in October, to which he replied: "The move to Arsenal was a wonderful one for him [Timber]. It is also my dream to one day make such a transfer, but I realise that I still have a very long way to go."

Well, as it turns out, young man, that move might not be so far away after all.