Huddersfield Town chairman Phil Hodgkinson has revealed that the club had a deal agreed to bring Manchester City youngster Tommy Doyle to the club – only for the player’s agent to agree a deal with Hamburg behind both club’s backs.
The 19-year-old mainly featured for City’s under-23 team last season but he was in and around Pep Guardiola’s senior side and made appearances in the FA Cup, EFL Cup and UEFA Champions League.
Clearly feeling his development was best served away from the Etihad Stadium this season though, City had agreed for the midfielder to head up the M62 to the John Smiths Stadium for the rest of the season.
That was until Doyle’s representative – unbeknownst to both Huddersfield and Man City – secured their client a deal to move to German side Hamburg, who ply their trade in the country’s second tier.
It has left a little bit of a sour taste in the mouth of the Terriers chairman despite being able to keep hold of his prized asset in Lewis O’Brien, an Hodgkinson opened up on how the deal ended up breaking down.
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“We had agreed a deal to bring in Tommy Doyle from Man City, who’s a creative midfielder that we all crave,” Hodgkinson said in a live interview with BBC Leeds’ Katherine Hannah and reporter Steven Chicken, per YorkshireLive.
“Man City were fantastic in that they agreed a structure (in which Huddersfield could afford to bring Doyle to the club without having to fund it through Isaac Mbenza’s departure) where it didn’t matter, so we could do the deal and take Tommy Doyle in on loan for the season and whether Isaac was here or not it didn’t affect us financially.
“I got on the plane (from Portugal) at 11am where we’d agreed a deal with Man City and then Leigh [Bromby] was going to speak to the player and the agent.
“I got off the plane at 2:30pm and his agent had taken him to Hamburg, unbeknown to Man City that he’d been talking to them so they weren’t happy, and unbeknown to us, and there was nothing we could do about it.
“That was one that got away on deadline day I’m afraid, but it is what it is.”
Whilst Huddersfield have had a good start to the season, a bit of added depth in midfield wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Their back-ups to Jonathan Hogg and O’Brien are Alex Vallejo and Scott High, with the latter having potential but being quite unproven at Championship level.
Doyle is clearly very highly rated at Man City hence why he already has some first-team appearances to his name, and he could have potentially flourished in the second tier of English football next to O’Brien.
But Doyle’s agent clearly thought that Hamburg would be a better move for his client and Huddersfield will move on without him – an injury or two in that midfield though and Carlos Corberan could be panicking at the lack of depth.