Leeds United have been handed a major boost in their chase for Bournemouth starlet Ajani Burchall.
Reports from Football Insider claimed that with Burchall having rejected a scholarship deal with the Cherries, Leeds had registered their interest in signing him this summer.
Now, the 16-year-old himself has confirmed via his Instagram that he will be leaving the Championship side, which comes as a major boost to the likes of Marcelo Bielsa’s side, Aston Villa and Arsenal, who are all said to be interested in him.
Bournemouth’s official club website notes that Burchall is “predominantly plays wide and is an exciting forward player who likes to take opponents on and has an eye for goal, while also being a hard-working, tough-tackling winger” – exactly the kind of traits that will have U23s coach Mark Jackson grinning from ear to ear.
Meanwhile, Burchall’s teammate at the Cherries, Steve Cook, said after his debut: “You could see how special a player he is. His first involvement was checked his shoulder, cut across a player and won his foul. For a 16-year-old, that awareness, that knowhow, I think the club have produced a really good player.
“On Saturday, we had a few players who have come through the youth system, so it’s terrific. The club’s been known for that and I think Ajani has got great talent. He obviously can’t train with us day-to-day because he’s at school! But I’m sure he’s got a very good future and a very proud moment for his family.”
Given the kind of player that has thrived under Bielsa – hard-working with a team-first attitude – Burchall seems exactly like the kind of prospect who could really make a name for himself for Jackson and the club’s U23s.
The Whites have made a conscientious effort to strengthen the club’s academy with the signings of the likes of Sam Greenwood in recent transfer windows. Burchall could follow in those footsteps and further add to the quality of the Leeds’ youth set-up under Jackson.
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