Luke Matheson has signed his first professional contract with Rochdale the club have announced.
The seventeen-year-old, who recently hit the national headlines after scoring against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, has agreed to a three-year deal with the Dale.
The youngster has already notched up seventeen outings for the League One outfit having made his debut when aged just fifteen.
He became the subject of enormous media attention after his goal at Old Trafford in September when it emerged he was back in school the following morning to take a psychology test.
The signing is a real coup for Rochdale and comes after reports emerged the England Under-18 international was a January transfer target of Premier League giants Manchester City and Manchester United.
In a statement on the club’s official website, Rochdale’s Chief Executive David Bottomley was looking to future when he said: ‘We’re delighted that, so soon after his 17th birthday, Luke has committed himself to Rochdale Football Club by signing a three-year deal.’
‘We all recognise the special talent that Luke is and what he has achieved already, and trust that he enjoys continued success as a player at Rochdale Football Club.’
Matheson described putting pen to paper on the deal as ‘a dream come true,’ a view shared by many Rochdale fans when they took to social media to react to the news.
How long the prodigy stays at the club is still perhaps up for debate, but most fans were delighted at the news which could help secure the financial future of the club when he does move on, with the big boys now having to pay decent money to secure his services.
Plenty of fans predict a very bright future for the teenager as the following selection of responses to the news on Twitter illustrates.
That’s a scarily good signing
— theo (@powelltheo4) October 31, 2019
Future England Captain. Good luck Luke. Will always remember Old Trafford.
— NickWe66 (@NickWe66) October 31, 2019
great signing for now and the future well done luke … the old trafford goal will go down in dale history
— Matthew Harvey (@mattharvey1986) October 31, 2019
Brilliant news !! Excellent keep putting in those performances Luke and you will go very far!!! #upthedale
— LboroU14Yellows (@LBoroU14Yellow) October 31, 2019
Came across really well when I saw him interviewed. Clearly a really smart and level-headed lad. Hope Luke goes on to have a great career. 👍
— Differently Dave (@GoldenVision90) October 31, 2019
The plan isn't to keep him though, if a silly bid comes in for him then we sell the player. That's the whole point of producing players from the academy. He could even move this January, we won't turn down big money!
— David Reed (@TalkingSutty) October 31, 2019
Deserves it the lad. Big teams keeping watch will have to pay nice bit of money for him now aswel
— Matty Kirkham (@MattyKirkham3) October 31, 2019
Great little player…Big future!
— 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠-𝘾𝙖𝙩 4 𝙇𝙞𝙛𝙚! (@BlackCat_4_Life) October 31, 2019
Use that signing on bonus to get a haircut
— Luke Phelps (@lukephelps_) October 31, 2019