Port Vale have announced in an official statement that they recently sold one of their academy talents, 11-year-old striker Herbie James, to Manchester City for an undisclosed fee.
James, who comes from Congleton, signed for the League Two club’s academy in 2016 and earned ‘rave reviews’ for his performances, leading to interest from a number of north-west based Premier League clubs.
It was Manchester City, who continue to pack their state-of-the-art academy with some of the world’s brightest young talents, who James decided to join.
In their statement, Port Vale said they received a ‘higher than predicted’ transfer fee to the 11-year-old, a sign of how football is these days, with players that young being signed for considerable amounts.
Port Vale academy coach Lee Foyle said: “Whilst it might be considered a little disappointing that these young lads have not stayed at the Vale, it is a tribute to our scouts and coaching staff that we can identify and develop talent that is recognised by some of the leading clubs in the country.
Academy Manager Sevvy Aslam added:
“We hope that the fees paid for these young lads will not be a burden which will hinder their development.
“If they continue to progress with their new clubs there is a real chance that they could become Premier League stars of the future.”