Crystal Palace are determined to win the race for 16-year-old Irish wonderkid Michael Shelvin, after taking the youngster on trial recently.
Shlevin’s been a revelation in the Ballymena first-team during his first few appearances with them, which prompted the club to take a closer look at him, fending off interest from the likes of Celtic, Rangers and Sheffield United to take him on trial initially.
Having scored a fair few during his brief stint within the Palace academy, our coaches have been hugely impressed by Shelvin’s potential, leading the board to lodge a bid for his services, which was rejected instantly by the Ballymena heirachy, given the interest in the frontman from elsewhere.
Despite being knocked back, Palace seem resolute in their desire to land Shelvin, lodging a second bid within the last 48 hours. Of course, we won’t see the Irishman in the Palace first-team for quite some time whatever happens, but after the success Keshi Anderson has enjoyed at Palace since signing from Barton Rovers, there will be a huge sense of intrigue around the Ballymena frontman if he does indeed commit his future to us.
It’s always relatively difficult to judge the true potential of a young footballer, particularly one who has spent all of his life to date outside of the professional football bubble, but in essence, natural goalscorers will always have a more than feasible chance of making a name for themselves if they continue to dedicate themselves to their craft in the years beyond their teens.
Whilst no one can ever guarantee that a player will go on to play the highest level, Shelvin’s initial efforts have certainly grabbed the attention of our coaches, which as a starting point, is all he needs to be given a chance to flourish in SE25.
Let’s hope the two clubs can iron out a deal in the coming days, leaving the striker free to focus fully on improving his game for the foreseeable future before attempting to force his way into Alan Pardew’s thoughts.