Grimsby Town boss Ian Holloway has told The Grimsby Telegraph that he ‘fuming’ with Chelsea and Liverpool for targeting a couple of his prized youngsters.
It’s noted that the two Premier League giants have eyed up Grimsby teenagers Louis Boyd and Ben Grist for potential moves.
Boyd, made his Grimsby debut at the age of just 15, and scored against Harrogate Town meaning he is now the club’s youngest ever player and goalscorer.
Grist was on the bench for that EFL Trophy clash with Harrogate, and the two midfielders are being tipped for stardom at a higher level.
That may well come with Chelsea or Liverpool, as both sides have history of plucking teenagers from Football League sides with a view to developing a star.
Chelsea did that with Patrick Bamford, Kasey Palmer and more recently with Ethan Ampadu, whilst Liverpool snapped up Jordon Ibe, Raheem Sterling and Sheyi Ojo similarly.
Even just naming those players sums up the boom-or-bust nature of these moves. Sterling is a star and Ampadu looks like he could be, but Bamford, Palmer, Ibe and Ojo have all had mixed results.
Now, Grimsby boss Holloway has admitted that he is ‘fuming’ that Chelsea and Liverpool want his teenage duo, claiming the academy setup in England is built for big clubs to pick off young players from lower league sides for a fraction of their worth.
Holloway added that he thinks he can develop Boyd and Grist even better than Chelsea or Liverpool could, and is attempting to convince their families of that.
“Am I surprised at that? No I’m not surprised at that. Am I fuming about it? Yeah,” said Holloway. “These big wigs who want to take over football on the sly, they’ve already got rules passed that they’re category A clubs, and they can steal those lads off us very, very cheaply, because it suits them again doesn’t it? Those rules were passed by who? The academy setup is run by people who have got enough money to have all those things in place to get a tick in the box for category A. They’ve all got it because they’ve all got the money, and that means they can take those boys off me.”
“I want to play them when they’re 15 because they’re good enough, and when will they ever play for them? I’m going to have to wait and see. I knew it would be a risk, but I don’t really care, because I care about those boys and I want to get them in my team, and I’ll teach them as good as any one of those clubs will, if not better in my opinion. That’s what I’ll be telling their parents. Whether they listen to me I don’t know, but I can prove one thing. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough,” he added.