Former Gunners target Goretzka opts to stay in Germany.
German wonderkid Leon Goretzka has made the move from VfL Bochum to Schalke 04 to confirm Arsenal have missed out on signing the teenager dubbed the ‘next Mario Goetze.’
The Gunners had been previously linked with the 18-year-old, as had Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United, but Schalke beat all their rivals to wrapping up a five-year deal for the Germany under-19 international.
“We’re absolutely delighted that in Leon Goretzka another colossal talent – in addition to Max Meyer – has made a conscious decision in favour of FC Schalke 04,” general manager Horst Heldt told the club’s official site.
“Leon is one of the most talented players in Germany and has huge potential.
“He was on the wanted list of lots of clubs but he sees the biggest opportunity to develop as a player here with us.”
The news will be a disappointment to Arsenal fans as Goretzka is expected to be making as much of an impact on European football as fellow countryman Goetze has in the past few years.
At Borussia Dortmund the 21-year-old was a huge influence on the team and scored 31 goals and provided 45 assists for the 2012 Bundesliga champions, before making the switch to rivals Bayern Munich in a £32.6m move after three years in the Dortmund first team.
It was thought Goretzka would be available for around £3m, although Schalke haven’t disclosed the amount, and therefore would have fitted in Gunners boss Arsene Wenger’s philospohy of buying players young and turning them into superstars – Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie for example.
If there was any doubt about the potential of the young German then it’s useful to turn to the comments from Bochum manager Walter Schneck.
“I have never seen a 18-year-old who has so much class and desire,” Schneck said of his protegee.
“The boy will find his way into the world’s best!”
Watch what the Gunners missed out on below: