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Liverpool have made their seventh signing of the summer in the form of ex-Barcelona youth player Bobby Adekanye.
The highly-rated 16-year-old winger, who confirmed his move to Anfield on Instagram, arrives at the club as a free agent having been at the centre of a dispute between Barcelona and FIFA.
Here, we take a closer look at Liverpool’s latest addition – full name Habeeb Omobolaji Adekanye – and examine how he has ended up on Merseyside.
How did the move come about?
Understanding Adekanye’s move to Liverpool requires a look back to when he was plucked from Ajax’s youth academy by Barcelona as a 12-year-old in 2011. Adekanye became one of seven foreign youngsters whose moves to the the club were deemed illegal by FIFA after a 12-month investigation into their youth recruitment policy.
Barcelona deny any wrongdoing but they have been forbidden from fielding any new signings until January 2016 as a result of the investigation, and they risk young players such as Adekanye slipping through their fingers as they are banned from representing the Azulgrana’s youth teams.
Adekanye was sent back to the Netherlands last year for a season on loan at PSV Eindhoven, where Barcelona had hoped to keep him until their dispute with FIFA had been resolved, but the player is unwilling to wait and has cut his ties with the Catalan giants, allowing Liverpool to pounce.
What’s his background?
Adekanye was born in the Nigerian city of Ibadan in on February 14, 1999, but moved to the Netherlands at the age of four to live in Amsterdam with his family. The youngster spent his formative years in Ajax’s academy before his acrimonious move to the Catalonia in 2011.
Adekanye impressed for PSV’s youth teams during his loan spell last season and both PSV and Ajax were eager to sign him permanently this summer, according to reports.
He has also become a Dutch youth international. With the Dutch FA wary that he could also choose to represent Nigeria, the winger was called up by to represent the Netherlands’ U16s at a UEFA development tournament in Portugal in February. There, he had the opportunity to test himself against the likes of Spain, Portugal and Germany.
What kind of player is he?
Adekanye is a skilful left-footer with electric pace who has already drawn comparisons with Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben in his homeland.
While he is most comfortable on the left, Adekanye can also play on the right flank or just behind the striker. And as well as being a creative spark, the youngster is also known for having an eye for goal.
At just 16, he will continue his development in Liverpool’s Kirkby Academy with the intention of working his way up into the first team picture. Having already been coveted by Barcelona, Ajax and PSV, it appears the youngster has more than enough potential to make the grade.
Source: Sky Sports