Football

Everton join big guns with schoolboy signing

Moyes takes a schoolboy gamble. (©PAphotos)
Moyes takes a schoolboy gamble. (©PAphotos).

Everton are the latest Barclays Premier League club to spend big on bringing a schoolboy to their ranks.

The reported £2 million acquisition of George Green, a 15-year-old from Bradford City, has been greeted with both shock and delight on Merseyside, with the cash-strapped Toffees beating both Spurs and Bayern Munich to a player dubbed 'the next Rooney' by sections of the over-excited English press after quotes from Archie Christie, head of football development with the Bantams.

"He has got good potential but at the moment that's all it is. He has got a lot of work to do. George is a young player who was attracting interest from a number of clubs. We're happy to have him and we're looking forward to working with him here at the Academy," said Alan Irvine, Everton Academy Director.

Green joins a select group of talented schoolboys who moved from one English club to another for multi-million pound fees, and GMF looks at the top signings here:
 

Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo
Leeds United to Chelsea
£5 million compensation

The Leeds United academy products both moved to Stamford Bridge as 16-year-olds amidst controversial circumstances, with Whites owner Ken Bates accusing the Blues of 'tapping up' the players.

A £5 million out-of-court fee was agreed between the two parties, but their times with the Blues were unsuccessful, with neither making a Barclays Premier League appearance for the club.

Tom Taiwo enjoyed loan spells with Port Vale and Carlisle United before signing permanently at Brunton Park January 2010, whilst Woods was released by the Blues at the end of last season.


Jermaine Pennant
Notts County to Arsenal
£2 million

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger spotted the potential in Notts County trainee Jermaine Pennant, and spent £2 million to bring the 15-year-old to north London.

However, the winger's six-years with the Gunners were interrupted by disciplinary and injury problems, resulting in just 12 Barclays Premier League appearances and four loan spells away from the club.

Capped 21 times at England U21 level, the player has never fulfilled his complete potential, although is currently playing some of his best football under Tony Pulis at Stoke City. He's also enjoyed spells with Liverpool and Real Zaragoza in Spain.



John Bostock
Crystal Palace to Tottenham Hotspur
£700,000 + add-on fees

A move that ignited some bad blood between the two clubs, Spurs were ordered to pay the Eagles £700,000 by a tribunal, with additional add-on payments of up to £1.25 million. An England appearance would add an extra £200,000, whilst Palace are also entitled to 15% of any profits from a sell-on fee.

Simon Jordan, the chairman of Palace at the time, blasted the decision for a 16-year-old who had broken into the club's first team at Selhurst Park.

Bostock has since spent time on loan at both Hull City and Brentford, but is yet to make a Barclays Premier League debut for Harry Redknapp's side.


Dean Parrett
QPR to Tottenham Hotspur
Undisclosed - up to £2 million

Tottenham Hotspur announced the signing of 15-year-old Dean Parrett on the 1st February, 2007.

The attacking midfielder was targeted and signed by the club's then sporting director, Damien Comolli, with reports that Spurs were paying a compensation package that could rise up to £2 million.

“He is an extremely talented young player who has that rare combination of pace, aggression and creativity,” said the Frenchman at the time.

Parrett is yet to feature for in the Barclays Premier League for Spurs, but has gained experience on loan at Aldershot, Plymouth Argyle and Charlton Athletic.


John Cofie
Burnley to Manchester United
Undisclosed

The talented teenage striker officially joined United on the 1st July, 2009, for an undisclosed fee that could rise to as much as £1 million.

The Ghanaian-born forward has represented the club at both youth and reserve team level, with Sir Alex Ferguson highlighting the player as one-to-watch two years ago.

Liverpool, as well as clubs across Europe, were eager to sign the player before he agreed the move to Old Trafford.

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