Sports News of Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Dan Agyei became the Premier League’s latest debutant on Sunday when he came on as a late substitute in Burnley’s 2-1 defeat against Liverpool.
The 19-year-old striker has been tipped for big things, having impressed at youth level for AFC Wimbledon and then on loan at Coventry before making his Premier League bow.
So what type of player is he?
Primarily Agyei is a centre-forward. At 6ft he certainly has the stature to lead the line.
But the 19-year-old is adaptable, too. The rapid left-footer is also adept at playing out wide. But scoring goals is what he does best.
Speaking last month, Burnley’s development coach Michael Jolley said: ‘Dan is very difficult to stop. He’s got some great natural assets, pace and power, he’ s got a terrific left foot, he can head it. He’s got a lot going for him but he’ s got to work at his game.
‘He’s a good kid, he wants to do the work and if he does he’s got a chance of doing something.’
Has he come through the ranks at Turf Moor?
Not entirely. He joined Burnley as a 17-year-old from AFC Wimbledon for a fee of £100,000 and went straight into their development set-up.
He also spent a loan spell at Coventry earlier this season, scoring five goals in 20 appearances, giving him the best goals to minutes ratio for the club before returning to his parent side in January.
So weren’t Coventry keen on extending the deal?
Absolutely. He had Championship side’s chasing him, too. Brentford among those keen on taking him until the end of the season.
Sean Dyche, however, believed Agyei could play a part in the season finale. The Burnley boss has been proved right.
South London to Lancashire; that’s a big change?
Indeed, but it underlines how much faith Burnley have in the teenager.
Agyei was hot-property down south but Burnley didn’t take no for answer. Scouts from Chelsea and Fulham were regulars at AFC Wimbledon’s Under 18 and 21’s matches keeping tabs on Agyei.
No wonder…he scored 35 goals for the south London club’s junior teams before moving north in 2015.
Was he close to staying in London?
Yes. Fulham pursued their interest in Agyei but couldn’t agree a deal. Similarly, Agyei was handed a trial at West Ham. But the Hammers decided against handing the forward a contract paving the way for Burnley to swoop.
So a future England international then?
Potentially, yes. But despite being born in England he is also eligible to play for Ghana. If he continues his rise then we can expect a good old international tug of war!