View: Why did Omari Hutchinson leave Arsenal to join Chelsea?
Arsenal youngster Omari Hutchinson completed a controversial transfer across London to fierce rivals Chelsea on 16 July, but why did he make the move?
The 18-year-old was one of the most highly rated talents in the youth academy and was destined for big things in North London.
However, he recently swapped the Emirates for Stamford Bridge in a shock move that left many Gunners scratching their heads.
Chris Wheatley reported that the teenager was locked in contract talks with the Gunners, however, once negotiations broke down, Hutchinson chose to make the move to West London.
When Wheatley was asked on Twitter about why Hutchinson left the Gunners, he simply replied: “Chelsea offering a lot more money than Arsenal.”
Arsenal have been trying to significantly reduce their wage bill in recent years with big earners like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette leaving the club in recent windows.
Reducing their bloated wage bill has been a main policy of the Gunners so not offering a player yet to make his Arsenal first-team debut is not a surprise.
Another significant reason why Hutchinson may have decided to leave North London will be his pathway to the first team.
Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe are clearly ahead of him in the pecking order on the right-wing, and Reiss Nelson is still at the club.
Marcelo Flores is another youngster battling for minutes in Hutchinson’s position as well as recently acquired Brazilian winger, Marquinhos.
This must have been a factor that affected Hutchinson’s decision.
You can sympathise with him for wanting to take that next step in his career, after already featuring for the Jamaica national team and making 46 appearances for various Arsenal youth teams.
However, the decision to join Chelsea, a club that has recently sold promising talents like Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi and Tino Livramento without giving them a substantial run in the team, is what some fans find puzzling.
The final and maybe most important factor in Hutchinson’s departing may have his been his agent, Kia Joorabchian.
The Iranian-born football agent has a reputation for being a tricky negotiator and his relationship with Arsenal may have broken down after some of his clients left the club, like Willian.
It would not be a surprise to find out if Joorabchian had anything to do with Hutchinson’s departure.
In other Arsenal news, youngster Reuell Walters has joined the Gunners on their pre-season tour.