Arsenal defender set to leave club despite Mikel Arteta’s attempts to keep him

Arsenal defender Zech Medley will join Belgian side K.V. Oostende on a permanent transfer, understands.

The 20-year-old centre back, who spent last season on loan at Gillingham and Kilmarnock, is expected to head to Belgium in the coming days, with the Gunners inserting a sell-on clause in the deal and having first option on the player if he leaves Oostende.

It’s understood that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was keen on keeping Medley, but the youngster has decided to seek a new challenge in the Belgian top flight where he’s expected to play regular first team football.

Medley joined the Gunners in 2016 from Chelsea and has impressed since, becoming a key member of the Under-23s side and making his first team debut in the 2018/19 Europa League campaign against Vorskla Poltava.

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He was named among the substitutes for Arsenal’s Premier League game against Brighton last June, and made 15 appearances across the Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy before he was sent out on loan last season.

Former interim coach Freddie Ljungberg included the starlet in his matchday squad for the Europa League trip to Standard Liege two seasons ago.

However, Arsenal have a plethora of centre backs at the club right now, including Daniel Ballard, Harry Clarke, Mark McGuinness and January arrival Omar Rekik, making it difficult to find a pathway for Medley to feature for the senior side.

The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.

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The Gunners are expected to sign Ben White from Brighton this summer, while another centre back Dinos Mavropanos will join Stuttgart on a permanent deal shortly.

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