Matt O’Riley has reportedly snubbed Manchester City and Arsenal by signing a new contract with Fulham.
17-year-old O’Riley has put pen to paper on his first professional deal with Fulham, snubbing, as the Sun claims, City and Arsenal in the process.
“Obviously this is one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had,” he told Fulham’s website.
“It’s a great day for me and my family, I’ve been here since I was eight-years-old.
“This means a lot to me and I am just looking forward to kicking on now.”
The midfielder has apparently been training with the Cottagers’ first team and made his debut against Wycombe during the first round of the League Cup back in August. He’s since only made one more appearance for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side. However, he’s featured eight times for the reserves in Premier League 2, providing one assist.
At his age, the England u18 international is probably quite happy staying at Fulham. He was born in Hounslow and has been at the club since 2008 when he was just eight years old. Therefore, at the very least, it’ll be a team he has close connections to.
O’Riley has already made the first step of breaking into their senior team and signing his first professional deal. It’s not as if he’s stagnating or failing to get the opportunities he deserves. At a club like City or Arsenal, who both have strong academies, he’ll have far more competition and, as a result, less of a chance to prove himself.
The teenager’s probably made the right decision by staying put, whether Arsenal really wanted to sign him or not.