Chelsea set to win the race for English wonderkid
According to reports in England, Premier League giants Chelsea are set to win the race for highly-rated Hartlepool youth keeper Brad Young. The Blues have joined by their arch rivals Arsenal as well as Manchester United in the hunt to snare the teenage giant keeper away from Victoria Park.
Apart from the trio, a host of other English top tier clubs have also been watching the 17-year-old Englishman who looks like a special talent. But, it is now understood that Chelsea have moved to a pole position to nab the 17-year-old.
Frank Lampard's side have already invited Young for talks ahead of snapping him up from the National League outfit for a six-figure fee. The Englishman caught the attention of the London club over the past few months and through his call-up to the ranks of the young Three Lions sides. It has been a major turnaround for 6.4 ft Young, who was released by Sunderland as a kid but has developed into a top prospect.
Former Chelsea back-up keeper Ross Turnbull is now Hartlepool's goalkeeping coach, and the 35-year-old was full of praise for the player following his call-up for an England training camp.
He said: "At the moment, it’s all potential with Brad. Whenever anyone asks me about him I always say that if his work ethic and willingness to learn continues as it is then he will give himself the best opportunity to go and have a career as a professional footballer.
"That’s got to be his goal. He’s on the right path at the moment but it’s still early days and this is just some good recognition for the work he’s been doing.
“I have spoken to him and told him this is a reward for the effort he puts in every day because I have worked with him for more than 16 months now and he’s been great.
“This is an added incentive for him now. He’s got in a training camp so he can go there and do himself justice and push himself towards getting in a squad, playing friendlies and competitive international games.
“It’s one step at a time, of course, but I will be there pushing him every step of the way. I’m not happy with a training camp – can he go and get in a squad? I won’t be settling for anything less.”
Chelsea are also expected to be in the market for a new first-choice keeper in the summer as Lampard seems to have lost his faith in Kepa Arrizabalaga, the most expensive keeper in the world. He even dropped the former Athletic Bilbao for Chelsea's big game against Leicester City which ended in a 2-2 draw.
Image Credits - The Hartlepool Mirror