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Arsenal teenage target like Neymar in more ways than one

| 12.05.2014

With a ginger mohawk not too dissimilar to that once fashioned by Brazilian superstar Neymar, Jason Eyenga-Lokilo certainly knows how to make a statement off the field.

And he hasn’t been finding it too difficult to make waves on it, as the latest prodigy of the Anderlecht production line that has been adept at churning out teenage talent in recent years.

Adnan Januzaj and Romelu Lukaku are the most high profile, while big things are expected of Charly Musonda (at Chelsea) and Mathias Bossaerts (Man City) in the future.

Anderlecht have also proved adept at getting their young stars into the first team early, with Youri Tielemans handed his debut in the past season at the age of 16, becoming the youngest Belgian to ever play in the Champions League in the process.

However, despite the success of Tielemans, Massimo Bruno and other young guns at Anderlecht, 15-year-old Eyenga-Lokilo is already favouring a move abroad.

Interest has already been rife for his signature, with Lyon and PSG rumoured in France, while scouts from Liverpool and Man City have been in contact.

But it is Arsene Wenger’s track record for giving opportunities to youngsters at Arsenal that is allowing them to take the early lead in the race to sign Eyenga-Lokilo.

Yaya Sanogo, Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are examples of such players and this trio are likely to gain further opportunities next season, with Arsenal 9/1 to win the Premier League in 2014/15.

The only real issue for the youngster at Arsenal is that his preferred position is in the number 10 role, linking play and creating chances in advanced areas.

But with Mesut Ozil still only 25 and Santi Cazorla also on the books, the Gunners are not short of options in this department.

The good news is that Eyenga-Lokilo could learn much off Ozil with the pair both being left-footed, while the teenage Belgian has other similarities with Neymar aside from their hairstyle of choosing when visiting the barbers.

He is an adept dribbler and a danger from set-piece situations, while he does have some experience of starting in wider areas.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.