Preston North End are trying to fend off a Premier League club’s advances for a player aged just 14, according to Peter Ridsdale.
Ridsdale told the media earlier this week that one of Preston’s young prospects is being chased by a top-flight club.
Ridsdale is clearly desperate to keep the player at Deepdale, criticising Premier League clubs for simply hoarding talent.
Let’s hope North End can keep the teenager at the club by showing a pathway to first-team football.
“Even this morning, we’ve got one player who is 14 years old, who a Premier League club are trying to tap up – if I’m allowed to use that word, but certainly suggest that they’ll be better off in their academy than here,” said Ridsdale.
“We’ve lost a number of quality players over the last few years, just because Premier League clubs’ strategies seem to be to suck up all the talent irrespective of whether they have a career with them, and that’s very frustrating,” he added.
We understand there was a similar situation right back Josh Seary before he committed his future to Preston.
Being in the North West is difficult for Preston given the clubs just down the road.
Liverpool have a number of Preston-born players in their ranks. Rhys Williams is the most notable, and he joined the Reds at the age of just 10.
Under-18 players Luke Chambers and Isaac Mabaya were both born in Preston but snapped up by Liverpool at a young age. Both are now England Under-17 internationals.
Fans of a certain age may also remember being raided not once but twice by Manchester United – and may fear that this latest teenager will end up being a similar story.
Danny Rowe was a top young talent in Preston’s youth ranks up until United struck a deal worth up to six figures in 2001.
Rowe failed to break through at United, became a hero at AFC Fylde and now finds himself at Chesterfield.
The same happened in 2008 as Preston-born James Weir was plucked from North End’s academy by United.
Much like Rowe, Weir couldn’t break through at United and is now in Hungary with MTK Budapest.
This just shows the battle Preston face, not just in terms of fending off clubs pinching players from North End, but also in terms of initially signing youngsters in the Preston area.