Arsenal face Brighton competition for 17-year-old English wonderkid

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 24 Oct 2023 12:54 BST
  • 4 min read
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal
© ProShots

Sunderland starlet Mason Cotcher is being eyed by Arsenal and Brighton, according to a report.

A 17-year-old striker, Cotcher enjoyed a good campaign for Sunderland's U18 last term as the little Black Cats mounted an unlikely title challenge that saw them push Man City all the way. Cotcher was a regular contributor and his performances have evidently earned him plenty of admirers.

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Among the clubs keeping a keen eye on the youngster are Arsenal, Brighton and Rangers, according to the Sunderland Echo. The Gunners are so impressed with Cotcher, in fact, that he has already featured for them despite still officially being a Sunderland player!

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Cotcher trialled with Arsenal's U18s last week and lined up in a cup game against Middlesbrough at the weekend. He is still on a scholarship deal, so is free to depart the Black Cats at any time, though the Championship side won't come away empty-handed, of course. They would be due a compensation fee in the event of a sale but would prefer to keep hold of the talent and sign him to a professional contract.

Talent factory Sunderland

Cotcher is the latest in a long list of talented Sunderland players attracting Premier League interest. The Academy of Light has produced some highly-rated youngsters recently, chief among them Chris Rigg who has been courted by Man Utd.

The above-mentioned report also rattled off a host of youngsters who could have swapped Sunderland for the top flight like Tom Watson and Dan Parker but decided to remain. Finally, of course, there is Jobe Bellingham, brother of Jude.

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The Black Cats signed the 18-year-old midfielder in the summer from boyhood club Birmingham City and, much like his brother, he has impressed this season, his performances already giving rise to rumours that Real Madrid could look to reunite the two in the future.

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