| 13.3°C Belfast

Confirmed: Teenage star Charlie Allen makes Leeds move from Linfield

 

Close

Leeds switch: Charlie Allen

Leeds switch: Charlie Allen

Leeds switch: Charlie Allen

Charlie Allen is now officially a Leeds United player after the newly-promoted Premier League side confirmed his move from Linfield for an undisclosed fee.

The 16-year-old had attracted interest from a flurry of top clubs, including Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Rangers but has now signed a three-year deal at Elland Road.

He will initially join the Yorkshire club's Under 18s but will ultimately hope to follow in the footsteps of Northern Ireland internationals Stuart Dallas and Alfie McCalmont by playing for the club's first team.

Growing up at Greenisland FC, Allen moved on to Linfield's Academy and made history last year, when he became the youngest ever senior player. He came on as a substitute in the final game of the 18/19 league season, capping his eight-minute cameo with an assist for Daniel Reynolds' late equaliser in a 1-1 draw. He went on to make a further seven appearances for the senior side.

Allen was part of the Northern Ireland Under 16 squad that won the Victory Shield in 2018 and the Linfield Swifts side that won the Steel and Sons' Cup last season, scoring in the 3-1 final victory over Newington.

Last year, Allen helped Rangers Under 17s win the prestigious Alkass Cup tournament in Qatar, while he has also spent time at Liverpool's Academy during recent years.

The Irish FA's Elite Performance Director Jim Magilton is not in the least bit surprised that the interest from across the water has turned into a professional contract.

"For Charlie it has always been a case of where he was going to go because he has had tremendous qualities and ability since he was a young boy," said the former Ipswich Town manager. "He has a wonderful appetite for the game and he a great attitude.

"Charlie was one of those kids that you could play him anywhere and he was probably the best player on the pitch. He could play right back, right midfield, central midfield, as a number 10 or at centre forward and off either flank.

"He has always had that wonderful ability to go past people which is a dying art. We didn't want to coach that out of him and it was an insistence of mine to give him the confidence to keep playing that way.

"Charlie has developed physically and worked extremely hard in the gym. An important aspect of our programme is developing the boys and Charlie has excelled in that area. He is also an under-17 international and is a really, really good footballer."

 

"Leeds is a club I know well, having spent an enjoyable spell there in my playing career," said Windsor chief Healy.

"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."

Belfast Telegraph