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Manchester City have reportedly beaten Newcastle and rivals Manchester United to the signing of highly-rated England youth goalkeeper Spike Britts. AFC Wimbledon confirmed that the 16-year-old had left in a club-record fee received for an academy player.
Britts has been capped eight times by the Three Lions at various age groups. He is the latest in a long line of top-class goalkeeping talent to work under Wimbledon goalkeeping coach Ashley Bayes.
Arsenal shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale has previously credited his half-season loan with the Dons in 2018-19 as a major part of his development. Ramsdale was crucial in Wimbledon’s so-called Great Escape that season.
The South London outfit have claimed they will receive a club-record fee for an academy player. It is reported that the sum paid by City could one day exceed £500,000.
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According to the Mirror, City have beaten Premier League rivals Newcastle and Man Utd to secure Britts’ highly-sought signature. Express Sport understands that the teenager spent time on trial at various academies earlier this year before choosing the Premier League champions.
Wimbledon academy manager Mike Hamilton confirmed the transfer, saying: “Spike originally joined our academy as an Under-9. Last year his significant progress was recognised when he received his first international call-up for England at youth level.
“Since then Spike has won eight caps and this year helped England Under-16s to win the Mondial Montaigu Tournament, further enhancing his reputation as one of the best players of his age range.
“We are now in a position to confirm that Spike has joined Premier League champions Manchester City for a record fee received by AFC Wimbledon for an academy player.”
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Britts – who becomes City’s first summer signing – joins a conveyer belt of goalkeeping talent to join Premier League clubs. Ramsdale spent half a season on loan with the club, while Club Brugge stopper Joe Bursik came through their academy.
Joe Whitworth, who played twice in the Premier League for Crystal Palace last season, spent time in Wimbledon’s academy. Ramsdale has previously credited Dons coach Bayes with his progression.
The Gunners star said soon after joining Arsenal in 2021: “He (Bayes) is a top-class goalie coach. A lot of people talk about him as a character, but I always like to say the goalkeeping coach comes first.
“He’s not the only one, but he was a massive part in my journey, and I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the help of him. He’s a small cog in my machine, but if that cog was missing, I wouldn’t be firing.”
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