Arsenal send scouts on lower-league mission with two teenagers catching the eye

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Arsenal scouts will be watching on with interest as Exeter City host Reading in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday evening. Mikel Arteta’s side are keeping tabs on the Royals’ exciting young duo, Caylan Vickers and Tyler Bindon, who have each been given regular chances to impress this season.

Vickers has appeared in all seven of Reading’s League One matches so far this campaign. The 18-year-old came off the bench in the first two before squeezing his way into the starting XI, where he continued to shine.

A demotion back to the substitutes bench was met with the perfect response on Saturday, as Vickers came on in the final few minutes and bagged a late winner to snatch all three points from Bolton Wanderers.

Bindon, meanwhile, penned a two-year contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium earlier this summer when he was snapped up from Los Angeles FC.

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The centre-back, also 18, has acquitted himself well across four appearances for Reading so far this season. Like Vickers, Bindon’s first taste of senior football came only last month, and the poise with which he has handled the step up is attracting suitors.

Express Sport understands that Arsenal scouts will be in attendance for Tuesday’s EFL Trophy clash, having been briefed to pay close attention to Vickers and Bindon.

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The strength of Arteta’s squad suggests that the up-and-coming duo would have to trade first-team football for a spot in Arsenal’s youth set-up if a move was made in the January transfer window.

The Gunners are already spoilt for choice in Bindon’s centre-back position, while Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus are battling it out for minutes in Vickers’ preferred role up top.

On his first senior goal against Bolton, Vickers told Reading’s official website: “It’s a real moment.

“It was great to grab the winning goal – it feels good! The gaffer told me to play with energy, and try and make an impact, and I feel like I did that. The trust Ruben [Selles] has shown me is really good, it makes me play with a lot more confidence. For all of us young lads, having a manager who believes in us makes us play better.

“Some of the boys I have played with for ages throughout my career. I have been here for ten years and some of them have been there with me. It helps having bonds like that off the pitch as well, when we come onto the pitch we know what each other are like and we can impact a game that way.”

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