Villa linked to 17 year old Coventry City defender
We have one of the finer youth set-ups in football, and if the reports on skysports.com are true then we’re looking to add to our young talent by targeting 17 year old Coventry City defender Jordan Willis.
I don’t know a thing about him, but judging by the amount of top clubs linked to the player (ourselves included obviously!), I think it’s safe to say he has something about him. He’s only played three times for Coventry, and is also an England under 18 international. Here are a few lines from the Sky Sports piece:
‘Willis is an England youth international and is already on the radar of a host of top-flight clubs.
Sky Sports understands that Manchester City, Liverpool, Newcastle, Everton and Aston Villa are all keen on the central defender.
Willis only signed his first professional contract with recently relegated Coventry last month.’
As you can see there are some pretty impressive clubs linked, and I always like the idea of signing up some top young talent. A recent example is Samir Carruthers who we signed from Arsenal, and who made an impact with the first team towards the end of last season. And going back a fair few years we also signed Gareth Barry from Brighton when he was still a teenager.
Can we compete with some of the other teams listed when looking to attract a player? In most circumstances probably not. Maybe in a case like this we can though. As mentioned we have one of the best youth set-ups in English football, and a proven track record of promoting young players to the first team. Also if we were to sign him it would also mean limited disruption to the player with regards to location, an important factor with young players.
We let a number of young players go a few weeks ago, and while it’s hard not to feel some sympathy with smaller teams losing their promising stars, it’s sadly the nature of the beast these days. I like the idea of snapping up the very best talent, and here is a bit more on the young central defender:
From the Coventry City website:
‘Jordan Willis signed for Coventry City on professional terms in May 2012, after impressing in the Academy side and receiving national recognition.
The defender made his England bow when he featured for the Under 18s side in a 3-0 win against Poland on March 7th.
He made his professional debut in the 4-2 home defeat against Southampton in November 2011 when he replaced James McPake in the 63rd minute.
In the final game of the 2011/12 season at Southampton, he made his full debut at centre-back in the 4-0 loss and impressed before being forced off in the second half through injury.’
And a quote I found on a Coventry City forum:
“This boy Willis is a testement to tenacity and great work from our academy, he was rejected by two or three local rivals youth set ups and has come back strong through personal refusal to take failure,ultimately rewarded with captaining England U18s.”
I like looking at the bigger picture, and having a longer term plan. Mixing players like this with more established signings could be a very good thing going forward.