Manchester United have signed Toby Collyer from Brighton & Hove Albion on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
ManchesterWorld has been told the deal was actually wrapped up last week for the 18-year-old, who joins after failing to agree a new contract with the Seagulls.
They add that Collyer impressed United officials while on trial with the club last month, with talks between the Englishman and the Red Devils beginning after his display against Huddersfield Town in a friendly match.
ManchesterWorld also understands Justin Cochrane, the club’s head of first-team development, played a significant role in completing the deal, with Collyer knowing the coach from the England underage set-up.
The youngster cannot play for United yet due to Premier League regulations, and compensation has not been formally agreed at this stage.
Collyer shared his thoughts on his move to Old Trafford in his latest social media post.
“Delighted to join this great club @manchesterunited, can’t wait to get started!” he posted on his Instagram account.
Who is Toby Collyer?
Born in Worthing on 3 January 2004, Collyer is a England youth international who has captained the Three Lions at Under-16 and 17 level.
Collyer has made just one appearance for Brighton’s Under-18 team this season but was ever-present for the club last campaign, featuring 25 times for their Under-23 s and Under-18 sides.
He is most comfortable in a defensive-midfielder role but can operate in a more advanced role, while he is also able to play at centre-back.
Praise from past coaches
Collyer’s move to Old Trafford will result in supporters wanting to know more about their new man.
His former coach Mark Beard has dubbed the midfielder a ‘top-class player’ due to his work rate and performances for Brighton’s youth teams.
"Even when he was an U15 he trained with us [the U18s] a lot. Even though he didn’t play a great deal at U16 he still trained. You could see he was going to be a top-class player,” Beard told Sussex Live.
"He is a pleasure to coach. He is so low maintenance, what I mean by that is you don’t know he is there. He gets on with his job. He regularly put in displays of 8/10 at the least. He had the best running stats, runs 13 kilometres a game, breaks things up. He is so unassuming, he gets on with his job.
"You want 11 of these type of players in the team. You know what you’re going to get in training, he works hard, he wants to improve, he’s intelligent. He’s a good all-round kid."