At just 16 years of age, PSV Eindhoven central defender Riechedly Bazoer has already been tipped to do great things.
The youngster currently plies his trade in the PSV NextGen squad, but if English Premier League clubs have their way, the Holland under-17 International could indeed be playing in England's top flight next season.
According to Goal.com the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have shown Bazoer around their facilities in the hope of enticing the defender to their club. The offers made by each English club exist in conjunction with a three-year professional contract offer from PSV.
In response to the offers from the English giants, PSV sporting director had this to say about Bazoer's future prospects:
We have offered him a professional contract now he has turned 16. I speak with the family, the boy and his agents. We hope we will get an answer soon.It is his choice and the agent will do their best for the player. The only thing we can do is offer him good possibilities in terms of coaching and prospects.
Bazoer developed under the PSV youth system and is an integral squad member of the national team for his age grade. He is no stranger to success with the national team, winning the under-17s European Championships in Slovenia this summer—he was also the youngest member of the squad.
He bases his game on that of Paris Saint-German centre-back Thiago Silva, sharing a similar turn of pace with the Brazilian. Despite his ambitions, Bazoer has been warned to consider career development over money by his club "A lot of young players from Holland went to England and have not yet played in the first team. Many of them ended up being loaned out to other clubs" (Marcel Brands).
Bazoer's situation raises the question of how young is too young for players to be moving abroad? Whilst an individual's talent may be good enough to match it with players in Europe's big leagues, is a 16-years-old psychologically prepared to deal with the pressures put on him by tabloids?
It is so often the case that players are unwilling to take that brave step into the top-flight of football for fear of ruining their career. Currently, Europe's giants of football are keeping tabs on Brazilian prodigy Neymar. Although prolific for Santos and Brazil, Neymar is weary of how a move away from Santos could impact on him as a player and a person.
It isn't all doom and gloom, though, as one only has to look to Raheem Sterling's inspirational form for Liverpool this season. At just 17, Sterling has already caught the attention of the English national team and has proven a shining light for a struggling Liverpool side. The difference in the situation here, however, is that Sterling is given ample first-team playing time by Brendan Rodgers—something Bazoer is unlikely to experience initially.
Manchester City is believed to be in the box seat to secure the signing of Bazoer. Whatever the outcome of his transfer saga, I'm certain this won't be the last time we hear of Riechedly Bazoer.