Sky Sports is reporting this morning that Chelsea will be adding another highly touted youngster to the academy. I haven't seen enough of 14-year old Jacob Maddox to tell you anything about him, but here's what Sky had to say:
Sky Sports understands Chelsea have won the race for Bristol City teenager Jacob Maddox. Maddox is regarded as one of the brighest young talents in the country after emerging on the scene at Bristol City.
The 14-year-old was promoted from the Under-14 set-up last season to the Under-18 side and he is highly-regarded at Ashton Gate. A host of the Premier League's top guns were monitoring Maddox's situation at Bristol City and Chelsea have moved to lure the youngster to Stamford Bridge. Maddox is believed to have agreed a four-year deal at Chelsea with Bristol City due a compensation fee for his services.
The last sentence can be completely disregarded, as at 14 years old, the player can't sign a professional deal yet. He won't be eligible to sign on for 4 years with his first deal either, as that would exceed the maximum length a teenager signing his first deal could agree to.
This does seem to be another instance in which the Elite Player Performance Plan has helped one of the top academies in the country pouch talent from one of the minnows. One of the ways the plan was meant to help youth development was by making things easier for top youngsters to make an easier switch to top academies with batter coaching and facilities, and this is the already the fourth time I can remember Chelsea taking advantage of that situation. While Chelsea are certainly sending some sort of fee Bristol's way, I doubt it's anything significant with the way the new rules are set up.
Regardless of the exact terms of the deal, Maddox is a highly touted youth, and his addition should keep the assembly line of top young talent at Stamford Bridge coming. I'm looking forward to seeing the youngster playing with the U18 side next year, wherever he's deployed.