Manchester United are joined by Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Blackburn Rovers youngster Ashley Phillips.
A recent report from Fichajes has offered an update on the future of Ashley Phillips. The Blackburn Rovers youngster has emerged as one of the most sought-after players in England, and it appears a move to the Premier League could soon be on the horizon.
The report suggests English giants Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all launched an enquiry, seeking the possibility of a move in the summer. They aren’t the only clubs involved in the race to sign the Blackburn starlet, who is reportedly courted by London giants Chelsea as well.
A centre-back by trade, Phillips is yet to make his professional breakthrough at Blackburn. But the youngster has shown tremendous potential with his performances at the youth level, including the Elite Development League. At the age of just 16, he has already represented the Blackburn reserve side, and it won’t be surprising to see the player soon making his competitive debut.
Phillips’ promise and potential have already put a number of clubs on high alert, including Arsenal. Fresh from the sale of Calum Chambers and the loan exit of Pablo Mari, Mikel Arteta is likely to enter the market for new defenders in the summer.
Although the Blackburn youngster has a long way to go before he can be considered as a reliable first-team option, the 16-year-old can be an ideal addition to an Arsenal youth academy that has produced a host of talented players in recent years, including Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.
The same can be said for Manchester United, who are expected to offload Phil Jones and Eric Bailly in the summer. Jones was even linked with a deadline day move to Bordeaux, but the transfer did not materialise. Nevertheless, in light of the upcoming changes, Manchester United could certainly look to incorporate a talented teenager like Ashley Phillips into their ranks next summer.
As for Tottenham, coach Antonio Conte has showcased his desire to strengthen his side’s youth department. The Lilywhites have already been linked with a couple of non-league players recently, including Fin Barker. And the further addition of Phillips could usher the start of a new era for the club’s youth development, led by Conte and Fabio Paratici.
However, it remains to be seen whether Ashley Phillips opts to move to any of these three English giants, knowing he may find it difficult to get regular game-time, even upon his ascension to the first team. A lot may depend on how the youngster develops at Blackburn during the second half of the campaign, with the player gunning for a breakthrough in the Championship.