Brighton’s newest midfielder Taylor Richards allegedly chose the Seagulls over potential moves to AC Milan, as well as other big European clubs, the Daily Mail reports.
The 18-year-old central midfielder left Manchester City earlier this month to join Brighton in a quest for first-team football.
The report within The Mail says that Richards had the options of AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven and Monaco to choose from when moving from Manchester, but opted to stay in the Premier League.
He made his uncompetitive debut for Brighton in a 1-0 win versus Crawley Town in a side full of mainly U23s, in which he scored the only goal – a panenka penalty.
Richards grew up in West London, playing for Fulham until he was 14-years-old, before his performances as a youngster earned him a move to Manchester.
He has since gone on to earn three caps for England U17s and broke through into Manchester City’s U23 team. Last season he featured 15 times in the Premier League 2, five times in the UEFA Youth League and four times in the EFL Trophy.
He finished the season with 10 goals in 29 appearances.
Taylor Richards has become the latest player to leave Manchester City in the hope of finding senior football elsewhere, and it’s hardly surprising when you consider the strength of Man City’s first team.
Other than Phil Foden, Aro Muric and Brahim Diaz – the latter of which also left the club to join Real Madrid – no youth team player has been able to establish themselves around the first-team squad. Alternatively, you look at Rony Lopes, Jadon Sancho and Jason Denayer – all youth players who left for first-team football – and you have three players who are all playing at an elite level of football and have played in the Champions League.
After the game with Crawley the other day, Richards confirmed to the press why exactly he chose Brighton – and it seems a lot to do with Graham Potter.
He told The Argus: “For me I think it was an easy decision.
“I feel I’m at that stage now that I need to push on.
“I didn’t think playing 23s was helping me, I feel like I was stuck, but all credit to Manchester City teaching me, being a better person off the pitch as well as on it, because I’ve been with them since I was 14.
“So credit to them, training every day with the top players.
“It’s hard, but you can’t blame them. They are playing for the title and they want to win everything. If I was the manager I’d do the same thing.
“I feel like this is the progress, especially under the manager who has a record for playing young players. I’m in a happy space right now and I hope it all goes well from now.”
Graham Potter’s philosophy of playing young players was clearly influential in drawing Richards to the club.
After giving players such as Daniel James, Joe Rodon and Connor Roberts such influential roles last season at the Liberty, with the trio making a combined 105 Championship appearances, Richards will be hoping he can get a similar opportunity.
With Richards allegedly having the opportunity to join Milan, PSV or Monaco he must have had strong faith in his ability to get into the first-team at Brighton, as the other clubs – especially Monaco – have a great recent record of bringing through youth (as highlighted by The Guardian back in 2017).
Brighton fans, just how much of a coup is Richards starting to look like? Let us know in the comment section below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience