Manchester United, Leeds United, Rotherham United, and Stoke City all missed out on the chance to sign Norwich City’s impressive 19-year-old Andrew Omobamidele before he joined the Canaries in 2018, according to the Eastern Daily Press.
The teenager made his Premier League debut against Arsenal on the weekend and did not look out of place in central defence, with his pace, athleticism, and reading of the game helping him to deal with much of what the Gunners attackers threw at him.
That display came just days after he made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland, helping them push Portugal close and hold Serbia to a 1-1 draw.
Clearly, Omobamidele is a bright prospect but since the start of April, we’ve seen him force his way into Daniel Farke’s first team thoughts.
Things could have been very different, however, as the Eastern Daily Press has revealed that four other English clubs – Man United, Leeds, Rotherham, and Stoke – had a chance to sign the defender before he arrived at Carrow Road.
Omobamidele came through at Irish club Leixlip United and while he was there it is understood he caught the attention of Red Devils scout Larry Dunne, though the Premier League giants didn’t follow that up.
The report also claims that the teenager then had trials with Leeds, Rotherham, and Stoke but none of those were convinced and it was Norwich that eventually landed him in 2018.
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Given how impressive Omobamidele has been since the start of April and just how bright a future he looks likely to have, you’d have to say that the sides that missed out on him will be kicking themselves now.
That’s the nature of scouting young players but for three of the clubs to have him on trial and decide against signing him will be frustrating.
The 19-year-old did not look out of place on his Premier League debut and you feel we could see him feature regularly for the Canaries this season – though he likely remains behind Grant Hanley and Ben Gibson in the pecking order.
With that in mind, you feel he would already be an asset for both Stoke and Rotherham while there’s no reason to suggest he can’t reach Leeds or Man United’s level in the future.