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NEC keeper De Groot to join Juventus as Dad admits 'Arsenal wanted to keep him'

Arsenal have been forced to drop interest in NEC Nijmegen goalkeeper Willem de Groot.

The 15 year-old had trials with the Gunners last year, but Brexit laws forced De Groot and his camp to seek a new move away from Holland.

Juventus and Sassuolo are now keen, with De Groot having had tests. De Groot came through the system at Feyenoord before joining NEC this season. But he is now set to pursue his pro career in Italy.

His father told Voetbalzone: “These are all experiences that he can put in his backpack. It is also a nice boost for him that he has again aroused the interest of foreign clubs. Last year he could have stayed at Arsenal, but due to the regulations surrounding Brexit, that ultimately did not yield anything.

"Yet they were the first to wish him success when they heard that he was joining Juventus last week.

"He also still likes Nijmegen, so we'll see which path he eventually chooses."

Interestingly with Feyenoord, De Groot played in the same junior and youth teams as Ismail Oulad M'Hand, whose older brother joined Arsenal last year and also Parma striker Joshua Zirkzee. For the moment, he is with NEC as he awaits offers from Juve and Sassuolo.

Should De Groot eventually sign for Juve, the teen would find himself with the opportunity to work with senior keeper Wojciech Szczesny at the Bianconeri. The Pole is a former Arsenal goalkeeper.

- updated April 5

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