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Manchester United swoop for player from EFL club

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Manchester United have completed the signing of Elyh Harrison from Stevenage, as announced on the Boro’s club website this afternoon.

The 16-year-old has not played a minute of senior action for Stevenage and will take his place as part of the Red Devils’ U17s squad.

Stevenage have endured a difficult last few seasons competing towards the bottom end of League Two but can take a lot of pride from the productivity of their youth setup.

The Boro have played a hand in the development of the likes of George Boyd, Fejiri Okenabirhie and Ben Wilmot in years gone by and are continuing to bring through talented players to strengthen the pyramid.

Chairman Phil Wallace explained the progress they have made in that department when he spoke to the club’s website following Harrison’s departure.

He said: “Our very best wishes go to Elyh, and we will follow his career with interest.

“This is the fourth young player in four years that has been signed from Stevenage’s Academy to a Premier League club.

“We have negotiated all of these transfers outside of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) system and therefore delivers significant funding to the club, alongside a continued financial interest in their success, justifying our huge investment in the Academy.

“We will continue to upgrade our excellent facilities and invest in the infrastructure that develops young players capable of playing at the highest level of football.”

The Red Devils have not been the most successful club at bringing through academy players to the first team in recent years, but the attention to detail in Harrison’s development will definitely increase which should enhance his chances of making it in the senior game.

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Stevenage are currently in 23rd place in League Two.

There is always an element of risk in these types of transfers but it should be a proud day for all involved at Stevenage, when a club the size of Manchester United come in and pick up one of their younger players.

A lot of sides further down the pecking order in the EFL have moved away from a youth development model, partly due to EPPP, in recent years but, with the deal they have struck for Harrison, Stevenage are an example of the benefits of having a setup in place even in the fourth tier of English football.

The Boro’s younger teams will certainly see increased exposure and scrutiny due to this transfer, with the current crop understanding exactly what is achievable and the calibre of those who are watching on.


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Manchester United swoop for player from EFL club

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