Chelsea appear to be on the verge of signing West Browmwich Albion starlet Izzy Brown. The players signature would result in compensation for the teenager if the 16 year old does make the switch to London.
Chelsea are believed to be long term admirers of the Peterborough born player. Having spent a week on trial at Arsenal in January it’s apparent that he is a player that those at Stamford Bridge are anxious to bring on board.
Brown’s debut came towards the end of the 2012-13 season not long after his sixteenth birthday in a league game against Wigan Athletic. The attacking player has played at Under-18 and Under-21 levels for the club as well as being voted Academy Player of the Year at the Midlands club.
Initial compensation in the region of £200,000 would be received by West Brom should the move take place. However this would be set to rise dependent on the players progress.
The player has the panache and style to play as an attacking winger or up front. His ability to finish and his power on the ball are other attributes that make him a strong hope for the future.
Brown has impressed Steve Clarke who would be understandably unhappy to see the player depart. Clarke brought Brown into the first team squad initially as a substitute at Stamford Bridge in March, although he didn’t appear from the bench that day.
Before the game at Chelsea, Clarke said: “I’m taking young Izzy in the squad. He’s been fantastic coming through the youth team, has quickly settled into the Under-21s and has put in some really good performances recently. We have secured his release from school this week to train with us and he is doing his GCSE’s so we will tutor him. We’ll keep him grounded. Education is important so he’ll be doing his homework on the bus on the way down to London.”
“It’s a great chance for Izzy to experience one of the best stadiums in the country with a really good atmosphere and hopefully watch a really good game from the bench. The Academy department secured his release from his school so he could come in and train for the rest of the season, which we can do because we have EPP category 1 status. The experience of taking a 16-year-old down to Stamford Bridge will be good for the boy and the club. He is a schoolboy, but he is also a good, talented midfield player.”
On his potential, Clarke continued: “He has been playing off the right and holds the ball well. But he is creative and I think eventually he’ll be a box-to-box midfielder. He’s a good athlete but he’s only 16 and still has to grow into his frame a little bit. But he’s a good size, has ability and has done well for England in the U-17s and always gets good reports. I’d like to see him get a few more goals than he does for an attacking midfielder, but he was with us this week and was excellent. And before anyone asks he’s not for sale!”
However it appears now that despite issuing a hands off to other clubs, the move is quite likely to happen which will obviously disappoint Clarke and his staff at The Hawthorns.
But Chelsea will be delighted at the acquisition of such a young and talented player whose potential could be very much to the benefit of the South West London side in the future.