League One sides Portsmouth and Cambridge United are in a race to sign young Arsenal forward Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, reports Football Insider’s Pete O’Rourke.
The Gunners are set to loan out the 20-year-old striker to gain further first-team football in the third tier, having already spent the second half of last season on loan at Accrington Stanley.
London-born Butler-Oyedeji did not score in his eleven appearances for the Lancashire-based outfit, but his performances have attracted the interest of the League One duo, with both parties reportedly talking to the player’s camp about how he fits into their plans.
The centre-forward has scored once in four games for Arsenal’s U21 side this season, however, the green light has been given for a temporary move away from the Emirates Stadium, as the Premier League giants feel this is the best course for his continued development.
Portsmouth manager John Mousinho has been aiming to bolster his squad following injuries to midfielder Tom Lowery and forward Kusini Yengi, with both players set for a lengthy period of time on the side-lines.
Pompey are currently closing in on long-term target Tino Anjorin, with the Blues feeling confident that a season-long loan move can be completed before Friday’s deadline.
The signatures of Anjorin and Butler-Oyedeji would add to their roster of young Premier League talent already at the club, joining Australian international Alex Robertson, who has already made six appearances for the Hampshire-based side since his move from Manchester City.
Meanwhile Cambridge United head coach Mark Bonner is in the market for attacking options, after it was revealed Saikou Janneh will be absent for the “next couple of months” as he sustained a hamstring injury during the club’s 2-1 loss to Stevenage.
When I reported on the interest of Portsmouth signing Anjorin in recent days, it was believed the 21-year-old would be Pompey’s 14th and final signing of a busy summer window, so the race for Butler-Oyedeji has sprung out of nowhere, but that’s the beauty of deadline day approaching.
It looks almost certain that the young forward will make a late move to a League One side. There is no doubt that there will be a lure to play at Fratton Park, however the U’s have made an impressive start to the 2023/24 campaign and could provide the best platform to continue his development.