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Fulham sign wonderkid Foday Nabay

last updated Monday 22nd July 2013, 10:40 PM

Foday Nabay
Foday Nabay
Position Midfielder
P.O.B. Sierra Leone
D.O.B 05/08/1998
Club Birmingham
City FC
Birmingham City wonderkid Foday Nabay has quit the club and joined Fulham.

The 15-year-old handed in a transfer request, which was 'reluctantly' accepted by the club.

The midfielder and his family wanted to relocate to London and, despite several weeks of talks, Blues could not change his mind.

An undisclosed compensation sum has been agreed between Blues and Fulham for the England under-16 star.

Manager Lee Clark struggled to hide his disappointment at Nabay's decision.

He said: "I made it abundantly clear to Foday in several meetings with him that he had the potential to become the youngest ever player to play for Birmingham City Football Club's first team this season, at the age of 15.

"That was how highly I rated him and how highly the club rated him.

"We wanted him to stay but, as a football manager I couldn't have done any more.

"I was offering him the opportunity that as long as he continued in the way he was with his development and continued to show the qualities that he has, then there would be first team openings for him.

"He's going to a super club in Fulham because I know them very well having spent seven great years there myself.

"But I just wish we could have had the time to make him part of my current group.

"It wasn't to be, he's made the decision, we wish him all the best for future and we'll move forward."

Nabay came to England from Sierra Leone with his mother.

He was spotted by Blues playing in Sheldon aged nine.

Last summer, Blues fended off a host of Premier League clubs to re-sign him for the Academy for two years, with the promise of an eventual scholarship to come after that period.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea were among the big guns in for Nabay, who has been likened in style to Yaya Toure.

Not only Clark did his best to try and convince Nabay that St Andrew's was the best place to be for his football development, but so did Academy manager Kristjaan Speakman.

He and assistant Steve Spooner developed a close bond with Nabay and his family over the years and were also left disappointed.

Nabay's mind was set and the kind of package Fulham offered, too, would have made Blues chances of keeping him difficult.

Blues would have given Nabay a professional contract on his 17th birthday, when clubs are allowed to promoted their scholars to the senior ranks.

Source Colin Tattum at Birmingham Mail
Since 1998
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