PREMIER LEAGUE

Arsenal pass up on Bergkamp's son after trial

Mitchel Bergkamp, a 22-year-old attacking midfielder, was on trial at Arsenal's under-23 side after being released by Dutch second division Almere City.

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Arsenal pass up on Bergkamp's son after trial

Arsenal have decided not to offer a contract to the son of former Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp after the 22-year-old attacking midfielder had a trial with the Premier League side’s under-23 side. Mitchel Bergkamp had been training with Steve Bould’s squad in London Colney after receiving an invitation to try out for Arsenal following his release in the summer by Dutch second division side Almere City.

Bergkamp junior grew up in London while his father was a player at Arsenal but returned to the Netherlands at the age of 14 and came through the ranks at Almere. The midfielder had hoped to follow in Bergkamp’s footsteps in the Premier League and said the former Netherlands international had always felt a special connection with the club. “My dad played for Ajax and Inter as well, two wonderful clubs, but he always felt that Arsenal was his home,” Mitchel said in an interview with ELF Voetbal last year.

Van Persie junior catching the eye at Feyenoord

While Bergkamp will have to seek his fortune elsewhere after his trial at Arsenal, another former Gunner’s progeny is attracting the interest of clubs around Europe after emerging in the Feyenoord academy. Shaqueel van Persie, a 14-year-old winger, was previously in the youth academies at Manchester United and Fenerbahçe and has been impressing with the Eredivisie side’s junior side, where his dad Robin van Persie coaches the first team.