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Knight Completes Manchester City Move
Sunday, 1st Jul 2018 22:25

Academy youngster Ben Knight has revealed that he has completed his move to Manchester City.

The 16-year-old (pictured above, front, second right) confirmed that he had joined the Premier League champions’ youth set-up on Instagram.

“Delighted to have signed for Manchester City,” the England U15 and U16 international wrote. “Thanks everyone at Ipswich for an amazing eight years. Time to move on and continue to work even harder.”

Town are set to receive just over £1 million for Knight, although some reports claim the Blues will get an initial £700,000 plus further top-ups as the youngster’s career progresses.

Prior to committing to City, Knight, who joined Town aged eight, turned down a move to Tottenham, a switch which TWTD understands would have been more lucrative to the Blues.

However, Knight and his family were set on the move to the Etihad Stadium, a switch we understand was close to going through towards the end of last season. The player and family finally made their decision last week and they travelled to Manchester to finalise the details relating to the switch, with the news of the deal breaking on Thursday.

Knight, the nephew of former England and Essex cricketer Nick, agreed a scholarship with Town several years ago, which was due to start in July, and also a subsequent professional deal, but the Blues were ultimately powerless to hold on to the highly-rated number 10, as was the case with striker Charlie Brown when he joined Chelsea in 2016.

Former boss Mick McCarthy said at the time of the Felixstowe-based striker's departure: “It’s just one of those things, you can’t do anything about it. You have to just make the best deal you can.”

Had Town been unable to agree a fee with City for Knight, the matter would have gone to a tribunal and the Blues may well have ended up receiving a lower figure.

Owner Marcus Evans is hugely frustrated by the loss of Knight and an academy system so heavily weighted towards the bigger clubs and we understand is set to make a statement on the move now it has been completed.

In addition to the footballing side of their academy, City, where former Blues keeper Richard Wright and ex-U23s coach Mark Kennedy both now work, offer their youngsters a full private education programme.

In addition to City and Spurs, all the other top Premier League clubs had eyed Cambridgeshire-based Knight during his time at Playford Road, while Borussia Dortmund and Monaco were among the overseas sides who are believed to have shown interest.

Knight is the player Town 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, while academy coach Kieron Dyer once compared the diminutive youngster’s style of play to that of Argentine star Lionel Messi.

The Blues also look set to lose another promising youngster with 15-year-old Canadian Marcelo Flores, whose father Ruben is a coach at Playford Road, interesting Arsenal.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona are also among the clubs believed to have been tracking Flores.

Photos: ITFC/Instagram

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ArnieM added 22:27 - Jul 1
.... never to be seen or heard of again. Good luck though!

RonFearonsHair added 22:34 - Jul 1
Hope he remembered to pack his phone charger.

Nthsuffolkblue added 22:36 - Jul 1
If Klug is right in him being the best he has ever worked with he will be heard of again. Good luck to the lad.

SitfcB added 22:37 - Jul 1
16? Looks 6!

Little bit of a Jonas lookalike as well...

Palestine added 22:48 - Jul 1
Bit gutting. Will be interested to hear MEs statement.

OnlyOneSuperJim added 22:52 - Jul 1
Another case of Briatains got pushy parents

Crofty added 22:53 - Jul 1
This is where football is eating itself!

You can't blame the lad and his family who are set for life but for all the top clubs to be able to pick up and basically store the best players is just not right.

Unfortunately it is something the people who run football are encouraging by the current rules!!!

Mark added 23:38 - Jul 1
We invest all that money in the academy then big clubs can just take our top young stars for next to nothing. A broken system.

TractorBeezer added 00:30 - Jul 2
Definitely something wrong with the system Nevertheless, good luck Ben at the "noisy neighbours"


cardinaldom88 added 00:31 - Jul 2
The FA have allowed the Premiership clubs to do this, as the Premier threatened to discontinue financial support for the Football League and also stop parachute payments with a sign or else agreement, which included the allowance to raid academy teams for the top talent. The FA should be ashamed of what they have allowed to happen, when the Premier League teams are allowed to tap up and raid the lower league teams players in this manner. The system is well and truly broken, sadly.

Can’t blame the lad and his family, just hope he does come through.

wilnisfan added 05:52 - Jul 2
The FA should have enforced a ruling where a top team must play a friendly game with the selling team in pre season for as many years as it takes for the player to reach their first team squad regularly.

Would at least provide exposure for the development club.

wilnisfan added 05:54 - Jul 2

The FA should have enforced a ruling where a top team must play a friendly game with the selling team in pre season for as many years as it takes for the player to reach their first team squad regularly.

Would at least provide exposure for the development club. And most importantly deter clubs from stockpiling youngsters

maccyd9 added 08:10 - Jul 2
From a personal perspective I wish the lad well but from a footballing perspective I really hope he falls into a football black hole and we can use this example of times when it's best not to jump early for fame and the bright lights. So frustrating and once again is an example of just how horrible modern football has become.

SquatterMadras added 08:19 - Jul 2
Makes me laugh. All you people that bang on about what the FA should have done, or what the FA should do. The FA does not run English football, like the politicians do not run the country. Football in England is to all intents and purposes run by the Premier League which takes its orders from the Premier League clubs.

Those who complain about football in this country, ever thought of asking yoursleves how many years you have subscribed to Sky?

chicoazul added 09:10 - Jul 2
Good to hear Marcus is so annoyed about a bigger club coming in and poaching someone from us who we have invested a lot of time money and resources in. It's terrible when stuff like this happens. I heard something similar happened to Shrewsbury just recently too after they failed to get promoted.

jayceee added 09:46 - Jul 2
I get that we are a club that need to produce youngsters and sell them on to stay afloat - I just wish we could get a season or two out of them in the 1st team before cashing in. Still, in this case, perhaps the offer was too good to refuse, and you can't blame Ben for wanting a big move.

wokingblue added 09:56 - Jul 2
Hugely frustrating. So if we get £1million that's about £150k per year for 8 years. That's is just a drop in the ocean when considering the cost of running the Academy and bearing in mind Ben is just one of a small number who make the grade sufficient to warrant a deal such as this. Regrettably the Premier League is killing football as a whole and there should be a rule that clubs like ours who spotted the kid initially and have nurtured him for 8 years should get ongoing payments maybe until he is 21 based on progress and appearances. Good luck to Ben and I wouldn't want to hold back his career but how can clubs justify the investment in an Academy if any "Gems" are allowed to be taken away as soon as they show promise. #frustratedanddisappointed

JCTractorboy added 12:25 - Jul 2
Good luck to him, hope he goes on to do well.

Must be galling to the club though to invest so much time and effort in someone and never get a game or even a decent fee out of it. modern day football for you though.

Hopefully as we agreed terms we have a first dibs loan agreement written in there or something for when Man City are ready to let him get some first team football. Unlikely but would be sensible procedure surely.

happybeingblue added 17:41 - Jul 2
sorry i do not get all the pats on the back from itfc fans, he has bailed on us simple as,how would playing first team football for us be holding his career back absolutely crazy situation

Popeye added 22:18 - Jul 2
His dad will enjoy the new car city got him, the job they helped him get and the house they helped him pay for.

jimmyjames added 11:00 - Jul 4
£1m... quids in... re-invest so we can get a player this season who can help for a promotion push. we need a short term fix... that's football... so this is a good deal. for the club.

jimmyjames added 11:03 - Jul 4
"Owner Marcus Evans is hugely frustrated by the loss of Knight and an academy system so heavily weighted towards the bigger clubs and we understand is set to make a statement on the move now it has been completed."

But Money talks Marcus... clearly... maybe that's why you've been silent for so long...

Pls re-invest this money in to this years squad... build, build, build...

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