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England’s recent success at youth level and their historic FIFA U20 and U17 World Cup triumphs this year are creating opportunities for the youngsters to make it to the senior squads at club level more often rather than going out on loan to several lower division sides. The teenagers are being monitored closely by several top English sides as well as outfits from abroad and the hype is motivating them to perform even better in order to constitute a greater career move.
Such is the state of 16-year-old Manchester City starlet Bobby Duncan who is on the wishlist of many Premier League counterparts. Duncan, the cousin of talismanic Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, was reportedly rejected by his hometown club Liverpool before he joined the academy ranks of Manchester City. But the player is yet to sign a professional contract with the Premier League leaders and is weighing up his options amidst interests from Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and also Southampton.
As per reports from several outlets, Arsenal have leapfrogged their North London rivals Spurs to acquire the young forward who recently trained with England U20s. Duncan scored a sensational hat-trick against Brazil back in November last year for U16s which made him the first ever Englishman to do so. He recently scored the winning goal against Portugal for U17s and helped his side to clinch a 3-2 win, scripting a stupendous comeback despite being down 2-0 at one stage of the game. He also impressed during their 2-1 win against Russia on Saturday afternoon and is looking confident.
Duncan is lauded for his goal-poaching instinct and fox in the box profile. He has successfully replaced Three Lions’ U17 World Cup hero Rhian Brewster in front of goal but his club future still hangs in the balance as he is seeking a move where he would have assurance regarding senior team football.
City currently hold plenty of young talents in their academy pool but have failed to hand them opportunities at senior level. Jadon Sancho, England’s most prolific youngster, moved to Germany in the summer and is receiving game-time in Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund. A move to Arsenal or Spurs thus makes sense for teenager Duncan where he will have a better probability of breaking into the first-team.
Spurs, particularly, have been the most promising English side since Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment, as the Argentine gaffer has banked on youth and has handed them enough senior experience to flourish at the top level. Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Harry Winks – these English youngsters have performed sensationally for both club and country and are being considered as the backbone of English football. Duncan will have his opportunities as well if he opts to join Spurs and succeeds in impressing Pochettino in training.