There’s a new youngster lurking in the lower reaches of the football league that has attracted attention from some of the Premiership’s biggest guns.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool have all reportedly sent scouts to watch Plymouth Argyle’s Matt Lecointe.
The 16-year-old has already made 10 appearances as the Pilgrims sixth youngest player ever and their youngest to score an away goal.
This came in his third professional start for the club, away against Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday. A game the struggling Plymouth won 3-2 as Lecointe scored the opening goal.
He is one of many teenagers in a very young Plymouth side forced to blood players due to their current financial predicament.
The club went into administration last year and as a result was docked 10 points and then relegated to League Two.
This season has not gone much better, still in administration, former manager Peter Reid sold his medals to keep the lights on and was then promptly sacked after a run of 10 straight defeats.
Now that two of the senior players are in charge, caretaker boss Carl Fletcher and club captain Romain Larrieu, they have picked up seven points in four games and there may also be a financial life line in the form of Devon businessman James Brent’s proposed take-over.
Of the team that faced Dagenham, four of the starting line up were teenagers and only one was over 29, giving the average team age of less than 22.
Many reports of the game state that Lecointe’s goal was well-taken and that the build-up was impressive as well.
Fletcher, who made his debut at Bournemouth aged 17, said; “He [Lecointe] works hard in training and he’s here to learn his trade. He’s in and around the first team like a lot of the young lads are. Every day is a new experience for them and they’re learning and what better way then to play first team-games week in week out.
“We did well with the build up to create the opportunity for Matty and he took his goal very well, but we see that every day so we know what he can do.”
He has been compared to Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, due to his pace and style (and of course his age), but whether he can take to the big time as easily only time will tell.
If he is as promising as many suggest then Plymouth will probably want to cash in on as big a fee as possible to ease some of their money worries.
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