Just a few days ago it seemed that Dujuan “Whisper” Richards was anxiously awaiting news from Newcastle United as to whether he’d done enough during his two-week trial to earn himself a contract on Tyneside.
Now The Evening Standard have reported that the 17-year-old has signed pre-contract terms with Premier League rivals Chelsea.
It’s a bit of a hammer blow to Newcastle fans who were watching on in anticipation to see if we’d managed to lure the ‘unstoppable‘ midfielder to Tyneside after his trial period with the club. Signs were extremely positive following a catch up with The Chronicle where Richards felt he’d done enough to impress the bosses at Benton.
Richards looked destined for Newcastle
“I know they are a very ambitious club and want to be playing in the Champions League. I am expecting to hear positively from the club,” said Richards.
I did say in my report that I didn’t think it would be the last we’d hear of Richards, but I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting the next time I heard his name it would be with him signing for a rival club.
Unfortunately for Newcastle fans that’s exactly what’s happened as it was revealed via Instagram by Phoenix All Stars Academy, that Richards had agreed terms with Chelsea.
The Instagram caption reading: “On behalf of the Phoenix Allstars Football Academy, I am proud to announce the signing of Dujuan “Whisper” Richards @whisper.9._ @thewhisperbrand to Premier League giants Chelsea FC @chelseafc. I am elated to be apart of history and to know that this is just the first step for Whisper as he’ll continue to develop and become the superstar he’s destined to be. Whisper I am proud of you. Heart a love every time.”
Chelsea’s midfield stockpiling continues
I don’t know which aspect of this hurts most – Newcastle losing out on someone who sounds absolutely quality, or the fact that he went to Chelsea who are certainly not lacking in squad depth. Richards wouldn’t take up a squad space for a few years due to his age were Chelsea looking to use him in the Premier League, but is he going to get in ahead of the talent they have there already?
This one just stings that bit more due to the positive words that Richards had said about Newcastle to The Chronicle just a few days before. It’s not like he owed us anything, but still, it hurts.
On the positive side, that now provides more competition for Newcastle targets Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount, albeit not immediate competition, but it might just be enough to edge them closer to the exit door where Newcastle can scoop them up.