Brighton secure signing of one of Blackpool’s ‘brightest talents’ in Charlie Penman

Brighton and Hove Albion have signed defender Charlie Penman from Blackpool.

Despite being just 16 years of age, a statement from Blackpool’s Academy Director Ciaran Donnelly states that the Tangerines already consider Penman to be “one of the brightest talents to come through the academy in recent years.”

Penman made his Blackpool U18 debut in January when he was still only 15 and he was with the newly-promoted Championship club from the age of nine.

He will most likely initially link up with Brighton’s U18 squad, who compete in the U18 Premier League South. The Young Seagulls have started with a win, a loss and a draw.

Reports suggest that Wolves and Aston Villa were both among “some of the biggest clubs in the country” vying for Penman’s signature, emphasising what an impressive piece of business this could prove to be for Albion.

Donnelly’s full statement read:

“Despite the club’s best efforts to keep one of the brightest talents to come through the academy in recent years, Penman heads to the south coast after the two clubs agreed a substantial fee for his transfer.

“The club did everything possible to secure Charlie’s long-term future at Blackpool, but his performances across a range of age groups over the past 12 months has brought about much interest from some of the biggest clubs in the country,

“We are naturally disappointed to lose such a talented youngster in Charlie, who has been with the club since he was nine years old.

“We have had an excellent long-standing relationship with Charlie and his parents, and this was an incredibly difficult decision for them to come to, considering the progress the club continues to make.

“Even though we have lost a talented player to a Premier League side, we continue to build on the progress already made in the academy, with many talented youngsters coming through who can hopefully one day go on to represent the first-team.”

Penman announced the move on his Twitter.

“Absolutely delighted to have signed for Brighton and Hove Albion’s academy.

“Many thanks to everybody at Blackpool Academy who have helped and developed me into the player and person I am today. Also thanks to all my family, I love you all.”

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