Chelsea have taken a page from Arsene Wenger’s book and maybe even gone a step further by signing 11-year-old Michael Gyasi. Gyasi is a German-born striker who was at Northampton Town’s centre of excellence for a little over two years before he was noticed by Chelsea scouts and shortly after that snapped up by the Blues.
Gyasi was first noticed by the Blues when he travelled with the Northampton Under-10 squad to take on the Chelsea counterparts. His presence was immediately felt and the Chelsea recruitment staff asked for Gyasi to train with them. He did so in the summer and went on to further impress them, so much so that despite his young age, Chelsea wanted him.
However, the Blues had to pay compensation to Northampton for the development in the youngster. A source close to the club revealed that an estimated fee of £10,000 had been agreed upon. The football authorities will be pleased the issue has been settled between the clubs instead of involving an arbitrary body. The terms of the deal also state that the Blues will have to make a further payment, if Gyasi goes into professional football.
Trevor Gould, the head of Northampton’s centre of excellence, said, “I think this is a trend that is going to happen. When you are young, you learn most about football and Michael will now play against better teams and better players. I remember the game against Chelsea last year. I think Chelsea won something like 6-2 but I am sure that Michael got the two goals.”
Gould added, “He (Michael) moved over from Germany with his parents about four years ago and, as a player, he is very quick, skilful and strong, although he is not very big for his age. He is a great finisher. Chelsea have got somebody special. If he does well, we will be well rewarded. Chelsea have been magnificent and fair.”
Northampton are delighted with the interest champions Chelsea showed in a player from their youth academy, and are even more happy with the money they have received for the youngster. The remuneration will undoubtedly go towards developing the youth program, which may or may not produce players like Gyasi in the future.
Looking at the larger picture, one can see how competitive football is. A few years ago, the thought of signing an 11-year-old would have been laughed at, now it’s a common practice. The market for players, no matter what age has become cutthroat, if the Blues had not signed Gyasi, someone else would have. However, one thing is certain, with the start that he has gotten, there is no doubt Gyasi will be grow up to be a great football player.