Dad "gobsmacked" by Premiership interest in son Ryan Gates

A host of Premier League clubs are tracking 12-year-old Havant & Waterlooville striker Ryan Gates.

The youngster has caught the eye of a number of scouts after grabbing an incredible 95 goals in just 40 games this season.

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Arsenal have now joined the race to sign Gates, with Portsmouth, Reading and Southampton already keen.

All four clubs have offered Gates a trial with a view to joining their academies although Arsenal's late interest has come as a shock.

"I am totally gobsmacked," Ryan's dad Derran told The News.

"They want to come and see him and take him up there to play against either Chelsea Youth or Norwich Youth. They want to see him in action.

"We'll see what club is best for Ryan. For this to happen to a 12-year-old, it's brilliant."

Gates snr did admit that Reading were favourites to land him.

"At the moment we are primarily looking at Reading as a number-one choice," he said.

"I have asked to go and see the facilities of all the clubs, after which a decision will be made.

"We have no problem with any of the sides and whoever have the best facilities are the club we will go with.

"Travelling is not an issue for us as we are happy to take him wherever he needs to go."

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