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England youth international Dan Crowley has sealed a permanent move to Dutch club Willem II after he failed to break into the Arsenal first-team.
The 19-year-old had spent the second half of last season with fellow Eredivisie club Go Ahead Eagles, and he has now officially left on a three-year contract, according to Arsenal’s official website.
The teenager joined the Gunners academy from Aston Villa back in the summer of 2013 and there were suggestions that his style of play was familiar to Gunners star Jack Wilshere. Initially a central midfielder by trade, Crowley was offered a regular run on the left flank by youth coach Steve Gatting where he impressed.
Crowley spent loan spells with Barnsley, Oxford United among others between 2015 and 2017, but he eventually decided to move on from the Emirates as he was unlikely to break into Arsene Wenger’s side.
Crowley is not the first youth player to decline a contract at Arsenal with Chris Willock and Kaylen Hinds having joined Benfica and Wolfsburg respectively this summer.
The long-standing manager was once focused on grooming youngsters from the academy, but the need of the Premier League has switched his focus towards foreign recruits, who could significantly improve the overall makeup of the squad.