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By ESPN Staff
Jan 30, 2008

Gills starlet Freeman completes Arsenal move

Gillingham striker Luke Freeman has officially completed his protracted move to Arsenal for an undisclosed fee.

Freeman, 15, had been in negotiations with the Premier League side over the past few weeks and has now signed an initial student registration, which will turn into a professional contract when he turns 17.

The teenager - who has made just three senior appearances for the League One side - hit the headlines back in November when he became the youngest player to feature in the FA Cup after coming off the bench to face Barnet in the first round.

Freeman is now relishing the prospect of joining the Gunners.

'This is a great opportunity for me,' said Freeman.

'I thank Gillingham for everything they did but I am now hoping to be a success with Arsenal.

'They play good attractive football and the manager has a good history of nurturing and developing young talent.'

Newcastle and West Ham were also among the clubs reportedly interested in signing Freeman and he moves to the Emirates with the best wishes of Gills boss Mark Stimson and chairman Paul Scally.

'We are sorry to see Luke go because we know he will be a big talent in years to come,' said Stimson.

'Arsenal are a great side and working with those top players will only develop his game.

'I'm pleased for Luke because he is a lovely boy and we will always remember that he made his first appearances for Gillingham.'

Scally added: 'We reluctantly agreed to let Luke leave because it would have been unfair to stand in the way of a player's development.

'We have agreed an undisclosed fee for his services and that fee could be quite lucrative if he develops to the extent we believe is possible.'