SV Darmstadt 98 have announced that Ensar Arslan and Henry Crosthwaite have signed professional contracts with the club.
The pair have committed to 2022 and 2023 respectively, with the Lilies also confirming that Silas Zehnder to rejoin the team for pre-season after a loan spell with Viktoria Aschaffenburg.
Talks over a new deal for highly-rated Arslan have been protracted with the club struggling to come to terms with his advisors, so finally getting his signature will be a great relief to new coach Markus Anfang.
Arslan has only made two first team appearances, both towards the back end of last season, with the 18-year-old winger contributing an assist in the second of those against Wehen Wiesbaden last month.
Like Arslan, Crosthwaite has been training regularly with the first team in recent times, although the 17-year-old forward is yet to be involved in the matchday squad.
The club have made a concerted effort in the past year to bring their youngster players through, with director of football Carsten Wehlmann saying that the club have “set another important course for our realignment of the integration of hopeful prospects” by tying down the duo.
“Both players are a very good example of how good work is done in the youth academy,” he continued, whilst stating that Arslan’s “development process will continue” with the first team and he hopes that Crosthwaite “will also make the leap into our professional team in the medium term.”
He is also looking forward to Zehnder returning to the squad after a successful spell in Aschaffenburg. Wehlmann believes that his game time with the fourth-tier club will allow him to be “competitive” in the first team.
Lilienblog report that Arslan and Zehnder will count towards the required four ‘local players’, alongside Leon Muller. A fourth is still required as Crosthwaith only joined the club two years ago (from TSG Wieseck) and isn’t yet eligible for this status.