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Linfield pay tribute to young duo Allen and Taylor as exciting moves to England are confirmed

 

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Charlie Allen

Charlie Allen

Charlie Allen

Linfield have paid tribute to teenage duo Charlie Allen and Dale Taylor as they make the move across the water to continue their football careers in England.

Both players have agreed high-profile moves, with Allen joining former Crusaders ace Stuart Dallas at newly-promoted Leeds United, while Taylor has agreed to join Sky Bet Championship outfit Nottingham Forest.

The pair have signed "long-term contracts" at their respective clubs, which suggests both are considered to be part of the teams' plans for the foreseeable future.

Allen became the Blues' youngest ever debutant at the age of just 15 years, five months and five days when he came on in a league fixture against Coleraine and at 16-years-old is certainly a very bright prospect for Leeds to be taking on.

An attacking midfielder, the Linfield Academy player was considered so good he had interest from Premier League's top two sides, Liverpool and Manchester City, and also Rangers, but opted instead to join Leeds.

"Leeds is a club I know well, having spent an enjoyable spell there in my playing career," said Healy of Allen's move to the Championship winners.

"This is a terrific opportunity for Charlie to progress and develop as a player at a club looking ahead to exciting and challenging times now they are back in the Premier League after a long absence.

"Charlie progressed through our Academy and made several first team appearances and I know the coaches in our Academy are delighted to see him be given this opportunity at a big club and they too will be watching his progress with interest and willing him to succeed."

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Bright future: Dale Taylor is on the move along with fellow Linfield starlet Charlie Allen

Bright future: Dale Taylor is on the move along with fellow Linfield starlet Charlie Allen

Bright future: Dale Taylor is on the move along with fellow Linfield starlet Charlie Allen

 

Forward Taylor, also only 16, is the captain of the Northern Ireland Under-17s team and is also considered to be a highly-rated prospect coming out of the Irish League champions' Academy.

Taylor also made his senior Linfield debut at the age of 15 and has since made several appearances for Healy's side, including scoring a stunning curling effort in the County Antrim Shield against Cliftonville.

Of Taylor's move to Nottingham Forest, Healy added: "This is a terrific opportunity for Dale to progress and develop as a player at a famous club that will be pressing hard to get back in the Premier League where they will feel they belong.

"He got to score a fantastic late equalising goal for our first team in a County Antrim Shield tie against Cliftonville at Windsor Park in October and I know that’s a special memory for him.

"On behalf of all the players, staff, management, directors and supporters of Linfield FC, I would like to extend every best wish to Charlie and Dale in their exciting new career opportunities."

Both Allen and Taylor are expected to start next season within their respective team's youth structures, with the Nottingham Post projecting that Taylor could push as high as Forest's Under-23 team next season.

Belfast Telegraph