Bradford City teenager Nial Heaton has agreed personal terms on a ‘dream’ move to Liverpool.
The 14-year-old central defender is the latest player to emerge from a growing list of highly rated Bantams academy graduates, following in the footsteps of Calum Pilkington and Andre Wisdom out of the club.
Pilkington signed for Liverpool last season, but it is Wisdom who is being more closely monitored.
His move to Anfield three years ago has helped him develop into an England youth international, and he has now established himself as one of the leading lights of the Reds’ academy that is brimming with exciting young talent.
Fabian Delph and Tom Cleverley are the most high-profile names that head an on-going exodus of upcoming stars at Bradford, something that has become commonplace with the club’s precarious financial situation as part of their self-financing policy within the youth department.
Head of youth David Wetherall explained, “We have to be realistic about the situation. Part of the success for us is producing players of this quality that benefit the football club financially.
“We are trying to get ourselves in a situation where we no longer have a real need to sell but it’s difficult to stand in players’ way when clubs such as Liverpool come knocking.”
Liverpool Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli was recently appointed by the Reds to oversee the acquisition of some of Europe’s brightest prospects, and this signing will be very much regarded as one for the future.
New owners NESV have been prepared to splash the cash in the transfer market, with the January signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll prime examples of that.
But they are also conscious of rebuilding the club in the interests of their long-term future, in a bid to return Liverpool to its former glories.