George Dobson
Seventeen-year-old Arsenal defender George Dobson has joined West Ham UnitedGetty

Arsenal have confirmed that defender George Dobson has joined West Ham United after being with the Gunners for 10 years.

The 17-year-old defender was a rising star, who progressed through the Gunners' youth ranks since joining the north London club a decade ago. Dobson was highly regarded at Arsenal's Hale End academy and even captained the U18's last season, while making appearances in the U21 and UEFA Youth League teams.

Dobson, who only signed a professional contract with the Gunners in November last year, is a versatile player, and can operate either as a defender or as a defensive midfielder. The defender expressed his delight at being given the opportunity to play for his hometown club.

He believes the record the east London club have of producing top quality players was one of the reasons for him choosing Slaven Bilic's side as his next step to continue his football development.

"West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of highly-rated central midfielder George Dobson from Arsenal," a statement on the Hammers' official site read.

"I am over the moon to have signed and have been a West Ham fan since I was five-years-of-age and this is a surreal moment. Putting pen to paper is a dream come true for me," Dobson said.

"I had a great ten-years with Arsenal and they helped me as a footballer and as a person. But the time is right to move and I cannot wait to get started."

"I give 100 per cent every time I put the shirt on and I will give everything for the team. The amount of players who have come through the academy, it was a no-brainer for me. There are lots of opportunities here and you have just got to take them. I know I will have to work hard," the young defender explained.

"Terry Westley is a great guy and has shown a lot of interest in me. That is really important for a young person and I am looking forward to working under him."