Newcastle United, Arsenal and West Ham are today reported to be after Gillingham youngster Luke Freeman, according to the club’s manager Mark Stimson.
Mark Stimson – Gillingham manager expects 15 year-old to move to top club
Luke is just 15 years old and has made three substitute appearances for the Gills, and became the youngest player ever to appear in the FA Cup when he featured in the first round defeat at Barnet recently. Manager Stimson rates him at between Â£200K and Â£300K and talked about the young striker today:
“Luke had a fantastic day at Newcastle and Arsenal.â€ “He is going to West Ham to have a look around. He will then make a decision.”
“Those clubs will speak to our chairman (Paul Scally) and something might come of that,”
“I think he will be moving on, but only if that is right for this football club. It has to be attractive for us because he is a talent.”
Recently when Gills manager Stimson introduced the 15 year-old to the first team squad, he had this to say about the youngster and the senior strikers at the club:
“You have to think about those senior players.” “How would you feel about a 15-year-old boy taking your place? What would you do? I know what I would do, but we’re all different.”
“Fair credit to Luke, he doesn’t look out of place and his age doesn’t come into it.” “Once he’s out on that pitch with the senior players he’s as bright as any of them and that’s really encouraging to see.”
Newcastle are following the Arsenal blueprint of recruiting the world best players at a young age, in the hope the players will develop into star players as they complete their development at the Tyneside club. As we have mentioned before, this was a policy tried by Sir Bobby Robson and he was successful in recruiting James Milner, Steven Taylor and Charles Nâ€™Zogbia to the club.
Milner and Nâ€™Zogbia were signed when they were both 18 years old, James coming from Leeds United and Charles coming from French Club Le Havre. Steven Taylor was signed when he was 17 years old and of course is a local lad. But all three are now first team regulars and all play for their countries at the Under-21 level, with Steven being Captain of the England team.
So it can work if our scouts are good enough to pick out the young talent, but that is never easy. But we are always pleased to hear stories about Newcastle trying to recruit these top youngsters, because that will auger very well for the future of the club. Luke was born in March 1992 in Dartford, England. Arsenal are said to be confident he will sign for them.
These stories always give us some refuge from our current team’s form, and allows us to look at the future, which we are sure will come from our youngsters. We are still hoping that future will be rosy. 😀
Comments very welcome.