Why Crystal Palace need to keep hold of Jadan Raymond
According to the Daily Mail, Crystal Palace academy wonder kid Jadan Raymond is the subject of interest from Spanish heavyweights Valencia, with the report claiming that the starlet has caught the eye of several clubs with his rapid development.
Valencia, though, aren’t the only suitors for the youngster’s signature, with the Daily Mail reporting that Portuguese giants Benfica are also keeping close tabs on the 15-year-old’s situation at Selhurst Park.
Raymond is currently in the last year of his academy contract and, while the Eagles are desperate to tie him down to a new professional deal, they are struggling to do so due to his tender years. (h/t Daily Mail)
The highly-rated teenager attracted admiring glances from the scouts of Valencia and Benfica while playing for England U-17s at the Syrenka Cup in Poland. Raymond not only impressed over the entirety of the tournament but he also scored the winning penalty against the hosts in the finals to help the Young Lions claim silverware.
The 15-year-old central midfielder has featured for various academy sides in Palace’s youth ranks and his talent and potential haven’t gone unnoticed, with many labelling him as a player capable of evolving into a future star at the highest level.
To that end, though, Palace currently have a fight on their hands to keep hold of their prodigious talent and with the Daily Mail suggesting that he could be available for just around £250,000, the potential suitors will be expected to firm up their interest in the England U-17 international sooner rather than later.
That Raymond has already made the step up to the U-17 level with England is indicative of the fact that the 15-year-old has already shown a level of maturity that belies his tender years as a footballer.
The teenager, of course, is still very much in the rudiments of his formative years as a footballer and, while it is hard to predict the future for a player of his age, Raymond apparently has what it takes to be a top-quality professional in the years to come.
The Eagles have produced some top-quality Premier League players like Wilfried Zaha, Victor Moses, Nathaniel Clyne and, most recently, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Raymond could be the next poster from the same academy to carve out a reputation for himself in the future.
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Suffice to say, Palace might be left to rue his departure if he evolves into a top-quality player at some other club three of four years down the line and, with that in mind, it should be a no-brainer for them to make an arduous attempt to secure the long-term future of Raymond, amidst interest from some of the continental heavyweights.