Championship side Fulham have today confirmed on their official website the signing of Basingstoke Town defender Rob Atkinson, who will link up with the club’s Under-23 squad.
The 19-year-old leaves the Hampshire-based outfit with the club currently 14th in the Southern Premier League, having won just two of their opening five games of the new season.
The defender, who can play at centre-back or indeed at left-back, has been on trial at Fulham in recent times and has already played for the club’s Under-23 side, playing the full 90 minutes in their 4-2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in a Premier League 2 Division Two clash back on August 21, and then again against Aston Villa five days later.
And now the Englishman has penned a full-time contract with the Cottagers, a move the man himself is absolutely thrilled with.
He told the club’s official website: ‘To have a club like Fulham come in and offer me a contract, I’m obviously delighted.
Atkinson was linked with a move to fellow Championship side Bolton Wanderers during the summer, but Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham have beaten the competition to the highly-rated defender, who will look to help a Cottagers Under-23 side that have lost all three of their league matches this term.
And who knows, several impressive displays for the development squad could see the 19-year-old earn a senior appearance sooner rather than later.
The Verdict: It was a busy summer of transfer business at Fulham, with 11 new faces arriving at Craven Cottage, as well as contract extensions for the key duo of Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon.
And it appears that they are planning for the future as well by landing Basingstoke Town youngster Rob Atkinson, who will go into the Under-23 squad with the hope of helping them recover from a poor start to the Premier League 2 Division Two season.
The summer saw over £200 million spent by Championship clubs, yet Fulham’s capture of Atkinson is another reminder that building for the future is just as important a task as building for the present.
Fulham fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!