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Arsenal defender wants to leave in the summer after rejecting new contract offer

Arsenal defender has reportedly rejected a new contract offer from the club and wants to leave at the end of the current season

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta v Fulham
Image credit: Getty Images

Young Arsenal defender Reuell Walters is set to leave the club this summer after rejecting a contract extension offer, signalling an end to his time at the Emirates Stadium.

According to The Athletic, Walters, 19, opted against renewing his contract with Arsenal, deeming it not conducive to his development. While Arsenal view Walters’ departure as mutual, sources close to the player affirm that his decision stems from declining the club’s contract offer.

The departure, if finalised by mutual consent, would exempt Arsenal from paying any training compensation to develop the young talent. However, if Walters joins an English club, Arsenal retains the right to set the training compensation amount.

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Capable of playing as a right-back or center-back, Walters joined Arsenal in November 2020 and has since amassed 55 appearances for the under-21s. Despite making strides within the youth setup, he has yet to make his senior debut for the club, although he has been named on the first-team bench on 21 occasions.

Arsenal defender Reuell Walters

Arsenal defender Reuell Walters (Image credit: Getty Images)

Walters has attracted interest from clubs across Europe, including those in the Premier League, Championship, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Belgium. However, discussions with English clubs are prohibited until May 18.

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Given that Walters holds a German passport, FIFA stipulates that any European move would entail a training compensation of €90,000 (£77,460) per year spent at Arsenal, totaling €360,000 (£309,790) for his four-year tenure at the club. Conversely, if he opts for an English club, Arsenal retain control over setting the training compensation amount.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta included Walters in the 2022 and 2023 pre-season tours, however, with first-team exposure deemed crucial for his development, Walters seeks opportunities elsewhere to further his footballing career. Despite his unquestionable talent, the array of top defenders at the Emirates Stadium would make it difficult for the academy star to break into the first team.

Oleksandr Zinchencho earlier this season described the England youth international as one of the players in the academy setup with a huge potential. “I like so much centre-back Reuell,” the Ukrainian told Rio Ferdinand in August during an interview on Five YouTube channel. 

“I think the qualities he has, he is aggressive. I swear to God, one time he pushed Gabriel Jesus in a shoulder-to-shoulder. It is not easy to push Gabriel because he is very strong, and he was confident on the ball afterwards, he kept the ball well and passed. Wow. He impresses me the most.”

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