Last month, Arsenal were among a host of Premier League clubs rumoured to be weighing up a bid for Brighton defender Lewis Dunk.
Following numerous injuries to the clubs defenders, the 19 year old defender has become an integral part of a Brighton side that has thus far excelled itself in the Champonship this season. An uncompromising centre back that looks set to have a big future in the game.
Now, after 13 impressive appearances this season, both Spurs and Man City are said to have joined the race for the youngster, with at least £5 million expected to be necessary to persuade Brighton to part with the talented youngster.
Money talks, and if a big club or big clubs were to come in for Dunk in January Brighton would almost certainly be powerless to keep the player, as manager Gus Poyet has already accepted, ‘He is going to play in the Premier League that is something I cannot control.’
It should asked however, what is in the best interests of Dunk? Many a footballer has been touted as the next big thing, got that ‘dream’ move to a top club, only to then see their career stall as first team opportunities are limited.
The importance of choosing the right club is paramount to whether a player will make it. Take two of Dunk’s supposed suitors, Arsenal and Manchester City. If Dunk were to move to North London, one thing that could be guaranteed is that he would be given a chance by Arsene Wenger, at a club so deeply grounded in youth development. Indeed, if he were to move from Brighton, his career may not stall.
Yet, let’s say Dunk gets his move in January not to Arsenal but instead to Manchester City, surely the chance of him getting his chance would be exceptionally slim? The sad fact is, the highest bidder for a youngster is where they would likely end up, whether that is the best place for him or not.
For many, the best possible scenario for the youngster will be at least another season at Brighton, first team football at any level is vital and the Championship is an exceptionally competitive and talented league. If Dunk is allowed to finish his footballing education at Brighton, he will be far better placed to fashion a long and successful career and avoid being another talented youngster thrown on the scrapheap.
Comment below and follow me on Twitter @CamHumphries for cutting edge debate regarding all things sport.