Matty Foulds is a name you need to remember. The centre back plying his trade with League One newbies Bury is almost certain to be snapped up in the very near future with numerous Championship and Premier League clubs currently chasing his signature.
The 17 year old’s stock is rising at an astronomical pace since making his first team debut in the Capital One Cup defeat against a fast, dangerous Leicester City side. Not only did the youngster do a commendable job nullifying Leicester’s attacking talent but he did it playing as a stand in left back.
Bury boss David Flitcroft compares the youth system product to another burgeoning talent, but one much further down the path intended for Foulds, John Stones. Flitcroft introduced Stones to the first team during his spell at Barnsley and saw him move on to Goodison Park and says of likeness “I’d compare him to John Stones in his young days, He’s only 17 but plays with no fear”.
Such comparisons could hinder such a young professional but it appears as though Foulds has taken it in his stride, responding with a commanding performance in the JPT against Accrington Stanley. Though he is yet to feature in a League game, this is not a comment on the young man himself but down to Bury being keen to protect such a talent. They certainly see the defender as an asset and a poster boy of their youth system.
That could be the cornerstone of Bury’s project, begun by Flitcroft, to nurture their own young talent.
Aston Villa seem to have positioned front and centre of the cue. Having brought players from lower down the leagues, i.e. Ashley Westwood and Rudy Gusted, and those players having established themselves as first team players, I wouldn’t expect them to be put off. Even more so with Tim Sherwood at the helm who brought through youth players during his time at Tottenham and is working his magic again at Villa, with a certain Jack Grealish.
Obviously with Flitcroft’s previous gift to them, Everton are watching the situation closely and are poised to make their move. With John Stones cemented at centre back, providing they can keep hold of him, Roberto Martinez could take Foulds and, under one of England’s most consistent centre back’s Phil Jagielka, allow him time to develop and grow in an Everton set up renowned for its youth out put.
Other clubs such as Derby, are not far behind and have the added benefit of potentially being able to lure Matty Foulds on loan until wrapping up a permanent deal in January. It remains to be seen who will capture the prodigy, but any one not willing to take that risk and throw their name into the hat could come to regret it, and soon.