Stevenage have confirmed that defender Ben Wilmot has left the club to join Watford.
On the club’s official website, Stevenage announced Wilmot’s departure for an undisclosed fee, but did reveal that it was a club-record for a transfer fee received.
The promising young defender had been on the radar of a number of clubs this summer but Watford have won the race.
Premier League giants Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were both keen to add the 18-year-old to their youth ranks but they have missed out on this signing.
Watford were thought to have dropped out of the race to sign the youngster after missing out in January but they rekindled their interest and have captured their man.
Brentford were also keen on the England youth international but Watford have beaten off the competition to land him.
Wilmot arrived in Stevenage’s academy at the age of 14 and rose rapidly to first-team prominence just four years later.
After playing 15 senior games for the club, the centre-half won the League Two Apprentice of the Year accolade.
Shortly after his transfer was confirmed, Wilmot took to Twitter to thank everyone at Stevenage.
As a new chapter starts @WatfordFC huge thanks to @StevenageFC for their belief in me. The Academy, 1st team management, staff and team mates have been brilliant. Big thank you to the fans for the unbelievable support in every game, forever grateful. Good luck next season ????⚪️
— Ben Wilmot (@BenWilmot33) May 24, 2018
The England under-19 defender is expected to slot into Watford’s academy team first, rather than heading straight for the first-team.
Wilmot is one of the most highly-rated defenders in the game and the fact that he has senior game time at League Two level under his belt already shows just how good he can be.
There is still a lot to learn – and he is far from the finished article – but the teenager is already showing signs that he could reach the top level.
This move works for everyone: Stevenage were not going to stand in the way of their academy product making a Premier League move but they have received a sizeable fee for his services, which will hopefully be reinvested in the club.
Stevenage fans – What do you make of this? Let us know below…
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