Birmingham City boss Lee Bowyer has moved quickly to tie down promising youngster George Hall, who has been catching the eye of Premier League outfits Newcastle United, Leeds United, Southampton and Brighton in recent weeks.
The 17-year-old midfielder penned his first professional contract on Wednesday after establishing himself as a future prospect with an array of impressive displays for the club’s Under-23 and Under-18 sides.
His form earned him a call up to the England Under-18’s squad in October, where he played against Netherlands, before making two more appearances for the Young Lions earlier this month.
Having been with the Championship club since the age of seven, Hall expressed his delight at agreeing terms: “It is amazing, obviously. I have been at the Club for so long. It’s a real proud moment for me and my family, and I’m just delighted that I could sign my contract here,” Hall told the club website.
He added: “Signing my first professional contract feels like the next step and, hopefully, I can push on and start playing more regularly in the Under-23s and push on to break into the First Team.
“I’m a box-to-box midfielder and I like to get up and down the pitch. I like to get forward and score and create goals. But I also like to get back, win the ball back for my team and make some tackles.”
Over the years, the ‘Blues’ have forged a glowing reputation for bringing players through the academy and into the first-team, with Jude Bellingham, Demarai Gray, Nathan Redmond and Jack Butland all going on to play top-flight football after breaking into the first-team at St. Andrews.
Under-18’s Lead Coach Martyn Olorenshaw has been mightily impressed with Hall’s development this season and believes there is no limit to what he can achieve in the game. He said: “It is really positive, he has been in the programme since pre-academy, to get a boy all the way through is a massive pat on the back for everybody involved either now or previously in George’s journey.
“He is an attacking midfielder with an ability to create and score goals. He is explosive, dynamic and has the prowess to influence games. He is a really exciting player that has the ceiling to achieve whatever he wants to achieve.
“He has received international recognition recently which is a huge achievement, a testament to all his hard work and a reflection of his character.”