23-year-old Zambian starlet Stoppila Sunzu could be Arsenal's opening signing of the January transfer window. At least that's according to the player himself.
Sunzu told the Zambia FA official website, fazfootball.com, that he's set to conclude a deal with Arsenal. That would mean Sunzu would join the Gunners after the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
The story has yet to be widely reported, but doesn't seem so unlikely. Sunzu fits the mould of a classic Arsene Wenger signing.
He is a versatile prospect who is not drawing attention from a host of clubs. Wenger has a fine track record of unearthing exciting African talent, dating back to his time in charge of AS Monaco.
It was with Monaco that Wenger discovered prolific striker George Weah. At Arsenal he plucked Kolo Toure from relative obscurity.
Signed in 2002 from Ivory Coast outfit ASEC Mimosas, Toure arrived for a modest sum. He was originally tabbed as a midfielder.
However, Toure was soon converted into a central defender. He became a vital part of Arsenal's last great team.
In a three-year period, Toure won the English Premier League, FA Cup and appeared in a UEFA Champions League final. He was eventually sold to Manchester City for over £15 million, netting Arsenal a handsome profit.
Sunzu offers similar potential. He is also capable of playing both defensive midfielder and as a central defender.
Wenger is keen to add a utility defender to his squad. Sunzu fits the bill, but previously failed in his attempts to secure a Premier League switch.
In 2007, work permit difficulties scuppered a move. However, now that he is a full international, Arsenal will hope any issues can be resolved.
Wenger has secured special talent visas for players before, notably Cameroon star Alex Song. Sunzu may not be the stellar name many disgruntled Arsenal fans are demanding in January.
However, if a move is in process, Sunzu answers a pressing need in the squad. If Wenger can develop his raw attributes, the Frenchman will prove he hasn't lost his skill for spotting potential talent.