Middlesbrough’s teenage midfielder Fin Cartwright is subject of interest from Premier League giants Chelsea, according to a report from TEAMtalk.
The 16-year-old made his professional debut for the Teesside club earlier this month, coming on as a late substitute in the 3-2 win over Huddersfield Town in the EFL Cup. This made him Boro’s second-youngest ever player and big things are expected from him at the Riverside Stadium.
Manager Michael Carrick said in the aftermath of the game that the youngster’s performances in training had earned him his first team bow, although urged the player to ‘keep his feet on the ground’;
“I think the natural ability, he always looks like he’s got time on the ball and has trained with us a fair bit over pre-season. But I’m conscious of the age he’s at. He’s a great kid and he’s got great talent, so we want to try and get the best out of him.
“It’s our responsibility to help develop him really, as it is with all the academy players. At some point he’ll be up training with us and others he’ll be playing with the Under-18’s. I just thought he deserved his chance tonight, I think he showed that quality in training.
“The challenge for him starts now and it’s all about the hard work now. It’s a big night and it’s great for him and his family and I’m sure they’re really proud of him. They should be. It’s a terrific achievement to get that first one but it’s the work next really that counts. It’s up to him to keep his feet on the ground, and we’ll help him do that and help him develop.”
An England under-16 international, Cartwright has been a regular in the Championship side’s under-18 team, although his development has not gone unnoticed by Blues’ boss Mauricio Pochettino. According to TEAMtalk’s report, Chelsea are keen to recruit players for the future after already landing 14-year-old Toby Bell and 17-year-old Ishe Samuels-Smith from Sunderland and Everton respectively this summer, and the former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain boss is hoping a deal with Middlesbrough can be agreed in the coming days.
Cartwright was back in under-18 action today, starting in the development team’s fixture against Everton.
Fin Cartwright is clearly a huge talent and Michael Carrick is not one to hand out debuts for the sake of it. The fact he put his faith in the 16-year-old against Huddersfield Town earlier this month speaks volumes and he clearly has high hopes for the youngster.
Chelsea’s interest will no doubt be a cause for concern, although Middlesbrough will be hoping that they can convince the teenager that this is the best place for his development at this stage in his career. First team opportunities could be on the horizon at the Riverside Stadium, and that is unlikely to be the case should he opt to move to the Premier League club.