Accrington Stanley hot-shot Dion Charles is set for a summer transfer saga with multiple Championship clubs chasing his signature.
The 25-year-old, who recently won his first cap for Northern Ireland, is being chased by Derby County, Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town, per The Sun, and has scored 17 times in League One for Stanley this season (Sofascore).
Who is Charles though and what has he done to get to the point where he has multiple second tier clubs chasing him in what will likely be a seven-figure deal?
The striker was born in Preston, winning multiple league and cup trophies at secondary school level and at the same time was playing in Blackpool’s youth academy.
Charles never made the grade at the Seasiders though, getting onto the bench once in 2014 but not stepping foot onto the pitch and he was released that summer.
Having to drop into non-league with nearby AFC Fylde, Charles shone predominantly as a winger and scored 18 goals in two seasons, leading to League One side Fleetwood Town signing him in 2016.
In his 18 months at the Cod Army, Charles made just one appearance – in the EFL Trophy – again failing to make it at a Football League side, before going back to non-league in January 2018 to join Southport.
QUIZ: Can you name these 10 hidden ex-Accrington Stanley players?
The Sandgrounders are a club that Accrington manager John Coleman likes to help out by signing talented players from, having managed them between 2013 and 2014, and he picked Charles up in August 2019 having scored 18 times in 60 outings.
And Charles has turned into another success from non-league for the club, netting nine times in his first full season and he has gone onto flourish in the current campaign, leading to interest from far bigger clubs.
After Charles’ past failures with Football League clubs, he has bloomed later than expected and with last year’s prolific third tier goalscorer Ivan Toney making that step up to the Championship with consummate ease, Charles may be looking to do the same next season, with Stanley owner Andy Holt potentially licking his lips at a bidding war that could be set to commence.