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Academy Starlet Knight Set for Manchester City
Thursday, 28th Jun 2018 22:45

Blues academy youngster Ben Knight, viewed as the most promising prospect currently at Playford Road, is set to join Manchester City’s youth set-up in a deal we understand to be worth just over £1 million.

theAcademyBlog reported earlier this evening that Knight had signed for the Premier League side today, however, we understand that while the move is expected to go through, with the fee agreed and permission from the Premier League granted, it’s yet to be finalised.

England U15 and U16 international Knight (pictured above, front, second right), 16, who was due to start his two-year scholarship at Playford Road next month, is widely believed to have been who academy head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug referred to as "potentially the best player" he has worked with at the Supporters Club AGM last year.

Academy coach Kieron Dyer once compared the diminutive youngster’s style of play to that of Argentine star Lionel Messi.

Manchester City, where former Blues keeper Richard Wright and ex-U23s coach Mark Kennedy both now work, and all the top Premier League clubs as well as sides abroad have been eyeing Cambridgeshire-based Knight for some years and were reported to be planning to make a move back in November 2016.

Up until now, with Knight, who has been with Town since he was eight, having agreed a long-term deal, the Blues had been able to rebuff that interest.

Earlier that year, Town lost striker Charlie Brown to Chelsea for compensation of around £650,000.

At the time, former Blues manager Mick McCarthy admitted that it’s difficult for the likes of Town to hold on to youngsters if big Premier League clubs come in for them and the player wants to go.

“It’s always frustrating to lose them at whatever age,” he said. “At whatever stage they’re at you don’t want to lose them.

“It’s just one of those things, you can’t do anything about it. You have to just make the best deal you can.”

theAcademyBlog also reports that Arsenal are interested in another Town youngster, 15-year-old Canadian youngster Marcelo Flores, which we understand is also the case.

Flores, whose father Ruben is a coach at Playford Road, was spotted by veteran coach Steve Foley in 2014.

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superblues9 added 22:49 - Jun 28
Planning for the future

Blue_Again added 22:51 - Jun 28
Clegg out

jpring89 added 22:54 - Jun 28
Don’t see the point in him joining City will never play for them. Take the Million and prob never hear of him again. Good business

arc added 23:03 - Jun 28
Ugh. How sad. Good luck, lad. Maybe you'll come back on one of your dozen loan moves.

hopefulblue added 23:10 - Jun 28
Can any one blame him? Look at the setup at city and the development he will get there regardless of wether he has a few loans or doesn’t make there first team I’m sure he will get better everything at city to help aid his development. And also a mill for us for some one who has never played also I’m sure there will be clauses and add ons

armchaircritic59 added 23:13 - Jun 28
It's now obvious that the so called " big boys" will be constantly sniffing round our academy. When you look at the youngsters we've been producing for the England set up, (more than most premier league clubs) and all from "Category Two" they know a good thing when they see one! Brian Klug and company have been doing a superb job and it must be galling for them to know that they're basically bringing up the lads for someone else! Makes you wonder if there's actually a point!

floridaboy added 23:14 - Jun 28
Sadly no guarantees in football. Going to a very big club in a very big city could be the making of him but could also be the ruin of him.

Still good luck to the boy and hope his parents are happy for him!

casanovacrow added 23:18 - Jun 28
Getting assets taken by the super rich ..think there's a life lesson in there somewhere

lightingblue added 23:26 - Jun 28
Unfthis is modern football. I wish the lad well, but we are that kind of club nowadays.

Crock added 23:30 - Jun 28

PavlovsCat added 23:38 - Jun 28
That’s so sad for every football fan who loves and cares about the game. One can’t blame any family for excepting a sum of money that will set them up for life...

... but Sir Bob will be turning in his grave. 😥

Tractorog added 00:27 - Jun 29
I don't care how good he is at that age £1m is a good price. Good luck to him.

NoCanariesAllowed added 00:52 - Jun 29
Wondering if there might be any provision to get him back here on loan at some point? Suspect that's not the sort of thing we can negotiate at this stage?

TonyHumesIpswich added 03:56 - Jun 29
Can't do anything about this these days, it's the nature of the game now.

So many potential Man City youngsters on loan, surprised we didn't negotiate something there.

Very bad news overall, he's expected to be a top, top player

TonyHumesIpswich added 03:56 - Jun 29
Can't do anything about this these days, it's the nature of the game now.

So many potential Man City youngsters on loan, surprised we didn't negotiate something there.

Very bad news overall, he's expected to be a top, top player

trncbluearmy added 05:15 - Jun 29
That sucks and sums up all that is wrong in the modern game,not sure it will do him and his greedy advisers any in the long run.


Millsey added 06:11 - Jun 29
Was really hoping he would get a game for the first team this year 😩
Look at the players in our youth set up who are international at various levels and countries and you wonder how the hell we’re still a cat 2 set up!!!!

tractorboybig added 06:28 - Jun 29
so in reality our youth set up is not planning for this clubs future but to make money.

WaltonBlueNaze added 06:54 - Jun 29
Great deal all round - good luck to the lad. There have been numerous talented 16 year olds, however, not all of them go onto progress and have the careers they hope for.

LWNR2013 added 07:07 - Jun 29
Great for Ben. What a brilliant academy set up we must have and is recognised as such.

runaround added 07:19 - Jun 29
Shame we will not get to see him fulfill his potential at Ipswich but as others have said this is how modern football is and it sucks. Good luck to Ben

PortmanTerrorist added 07:33 - Jun 29
Am sure not an easy decision for the lad and his family. For all the money and resources, his path to professional 1st team football cannot be as (relatively) easy as at Town.

Good luck Ben, and hopefully we have 1st option if you ever should get released.

trncbluearmy added 07:35 - Jun 29
Remember when clubs like manc and chelski were just badly run very ordinary football clubs, then all the dodgy money arrived.
Academies like ours should be protected from these monstrosities,how hell we are not cat1 is simple down to the corruption and greed of premier league and lowlife that run our once beautiful game.

Northstandveteran added 07:57 - Jun 29
I would have thought it more advantageous for him to break into the town team and get regular playing time for a couple of seasons.

However, the chance to mix with the likes of cities superstars and I assume the large amount of money his family were offered must have been a huge temptation, too much to turn down.

Such a shame for Ipswich and football in general when a boy that hasn't started shaving is poached by a big club. I hope for his sake this isn't the beginning of the end of his career as breaking into the city team must be nigh on impossible.

Good luck to him though.

Wacko added 07:57 - Jun 29
Reading the article about Raheem Sterling and why his mum made him go to QPR makes me think this is a bad move for the lad. He'll get lost in a sea of other talents whereas here he'll have all the special care and attention he needs, plus a direct path to the first team. A shame but could now get ~three Waghorns in return!

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