Aston Villa are adding another young player to their academy side in Ruben Shakepoke.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa are close to announcing the signing of 16-year-old Norwich City forward Ruben Shakpoke in a deal that could mimic Benny Ashley-Seal’s move to Wolverhampton Wanderers – in that the youngster rejected a scholarship contract at his current club to move for a better offer.
The highly-rated talent made his debut for the Canaries’ Under-18 side last November and has been long tipped to move on from the now relegated side after rejecting his scholarship offer.
He has represented England at Under-15 level and is also eligible to represent Nigeria in the future. In a game for Norwich’s under fifteen side, the forward scored a hefty 11 goals in a single game against Watford.
Whilst representing England at youth level in 2018 and 2019, Shakpoke played alongside new Academy recruit Ben Chrisene. He also won the ‘Small Schools Cup Final’ in May last year, playing for the Langley School.
This will be the third major academy signing for Aston Villa this summer as Ruben Shakpoke follows Ben Chrisene and Sil Swinkels through the door – and Aston Villa will have beaten Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven to the striker’s signature.
Shakpoke will join the academy, much like Chrisene, as the club’s continued redevelopment and bolstering of their youth system continues under the watchful eye of Mark Harrison.
The 16-year-old has all but confirmed his arrival at the club via his personal Instagram page – sharing stories from his friends offering congratulations about his impending move. A look at his social media will also tell you that Ruben is sponsored by Puma at his young age – perhaps showcasing the talent that he has.
It’s another quality addition to the academy for Aston Villa, and more are expected to follow suit.