In Focus: Everton or Southampton would be best move for Broughton

According to reports in the Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Southampton and Manchester United are all locked in a battle to sign 16-year-old Bolton Wanderers starlet Max Broughton this summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the midfielder has been an impressive performer for the Trotters’ Under-18 side this season after signing scholarship forms with the club in December 2015.

He has also represented England at youth level and his showings have impressed scouts from the Premier League quartet.

Despite Bolton making an instant return to the Championship this term, they could struggle to hold onto one of their top prospects if they receive an offer from the top flight.

Did he come through the youth system at Bolton?

Yes, sort of.

He went on trial with Wanderers in October 2014 after impressing for local team Rossendale United, and the Greater Manchester outfit snapped him up at the end of 2015.

Would he be a good signing for the linked quartet?

Of course, even though most Premier League clubs are looking for success now and as a result usually look for big-money signings each summer, they will of course be keeping a close eye on the best young talent in England too.

If they feel Broughton has the potential to go on to become a Premier League player with the right guidance and development, there is no doubt that he would be a good addition.

Which team should he join if he does leave?

Realistically you would feel that he has more chance of breaking into the first team at Everton, Tottenham or Southampton if he is good enough, but Spurs may be under more pressure to achieve success in the near future than their Premier League rivals.

Toffees manager Ronald Koeman gave chances to the likes of Mason Holgate, Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin this season while Saints are renowned for their academy and giving players from it – such as James Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens – a consistent run in the starting line-up.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, Broughton clearly has some talent if he is already being tracked by some of the best sides in the Premier League, but he must choose the club where he will be able to develop and fulfil his potential if he does choose to leave Bolton.