Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Jacob Mensah from non-league Ramsgate FC, with the defender set to link up with the Under-23’s until Eagles chiefs feel he can make the gargantuan step up to the Premier League. Which of two paths will he take having made the move?
The 18-year-old, who was previously linked with Wolves and Cardiff, has been likened to Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling – the former England international was also plucked from obscurity.
“I congratulate Jacob on his move as I feel Jacob has the opportunity to make the grade within the professional game and thank him for his time at Ramsgate FC.”
The last time Palace signed a young(ish) centre-back was when they brought Jaroslaw Jach to south London from Zaglebie Lubin in a woeful January transfer window – the Pole has yet to make an appearance for the first team.
Instead, the defender signed for Turkish outfit Caykur Rizespor on loan in the summer and then, with that stint failing, joined Sheriff Tiraspol in the Moldovan top flight – ouch.
Now 25, Jach’s career in SE25 seems to be over before it has even begun – Mensah will be hoping that he doesn’t follow a similar path, instead achieving the success Smalling has found since leaving Maidstone all those years ago.
Be sure to check out the incredible story of the man who rose from a Tanzanian refugee camp to become one of Australia’s biggest football stars in the video below…
Certainly, Mensah will have his work cut out in the coming years to oust any of the current first team crop from the starting XI but he could be the next young defender to come through the ranks – or, like Jach’s career looks set to pan out, be sent out on a number of loans before eventually being sold for peanuts or leaving on a free.