QPR are the latest club believed to be challenging Crystal Palace for the signing of 18-year-old Southend United star Dru Yearwood after the Hoops’ Director of Football Les Ferdinand was spotted watching the Shrimpers’ FA Cup clash with Barnsley over the weekend.
Born in Harlow, the teenager has been on Southend’s books since 2011, graduating into their first-team during the 2017-18 season. Despite his tender age, Dru has taken to professional football like a duck to water, impressing his coaches from week to week and drawing admiring glances from across the game. At 5’9, the midfielder isn’t the biggest but clearly has technical ability and potential in bucket loads, leaving Southend somewhat resigned to the thought of losing him in the not too distant future.
To Palace’s credit, they have been known as long-term admirers of Yearwood’s, thanks to Technical Director Dougie Freedman’s ties with Southend from his playing days. Whilst the likes of Millwall, Middlesbrough and now QPR are all said to be keen on landing Dru, you’d hope that Palace’s pull would be the strongest, given our status as a Premier League power.
Of course, at such a young age, the midfielder is bound to have concerns over his future progression and chance of first-team minutes but at this stage, the race to land him feels like one that will have a relentless pace involving numerous different interested parties. The traditionalist in me feels as though he should be left alone to develop at Southend for at least another year to 18 months but with so many clubs thirsty for blood in the modern game, we’ll be forced to act quickly if we are serious about signing him ahead of anyone else.
Let’s just hope the hype that’s building around him doesn’t stunt his growth as a footballer or a man in what is a crucial stage of his development in the professional game.