According to reports credited to the Bury Times, Liverpool are in the final stages of agreeing a deal for 15-year-old Bury centre half Emeka Obi, whose manager recently claimed he was one of the best young talents in the country. The completion of the deal is reportedly only waiting for the sign-off of the FA, who take more time to review deals involving underage players.
“I think he’s the best talent right now at 15 years old in the entire country," said Bury manager David Flitcroft following his debut. “He only came in the building two years ago and nothing fazes him. He’s been training with the first team and he’s going back to school next week. We’ve had him for five weeks, training with the first team, and he’s been playing with the under-18s.”
The young, Nigerian-born defender has already made his senior debut for the League One side, appearing in their EFL Trophy match against Morecambe earlier in the season. If the deal goes through, it is expected Liverpool will be paying a mid-six-figure fee up front along with significant add-ons in a deal similar to the one that brought Raheem Sterling to the club.
Despite his age, Obi is already 6’5” and by his current manager’s accounts shows the potential to be a technically outstanding player despite his size and position. However, his Nigerian heritage could lead to difficulties acquiring a work permit down the road and could lead to a few seasons out on loan once he turns 18 and before he can compete for first team minutes at Anfield.
“He’s just turned 15, he’s a man mountain, but we teach them how to play football and he’s going to be an unbelievable asset to the football club,” added Flitcroft, unaware at the time that Obi wouldn’t be at the club very much longer. “He’s a kid that’s really switched on, I’ve watched him while he’s been on summer holidays and he’s been in every single day."