Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly both interested in a potential transfer deal for Everton wonderkid Thierry Small.
The talented 16-year-old looks a huge prospect coming through at Goodison Park, but the Toffees could now have reason to sweat over his future at the club.
According to The Athletic, Man Utd and Arsenal are keen to lure Small away from Everton, with the young defender not turning up to pre-season training this week.
This could mean it’s going to be very difficult for Everton to keep hold of Small, with big clubs clearly feeling he could be a fine signing.
United and Arsenal both have a strong history of promoting young players and giving them the chance to shine at senior level, so that could be tempting for a talent like Small.
The teenager might perhaps look at Wayne Rooney, who came up through Everton’s academy before joining United at a young age and going on to have a legendary career at Old Trafford.
Small could do well to follow that example, though it’s always a gamble as there’s no guarantee of getting as much playing time at a bigger club where there is so much competition for places.
It’s also worth questioning if joining someone like Arsenal right now would really be a step up from Everton, with the Gunners not the force they once were in the early years of Arsene Wenger’s reign.