Yeovil Town Academy Under-16s player Marco Rus has been signed up by Premier League side Southampton. The attacking midfielder, who had been on the Glovers' books for the last four years, has been given a two year scholarship at St Mary's Stadium - the second player since the Academy re-opened that the Hampshire club have taken from Yeovil's set-up.
Rus wasn't named on Yeovil Town's list of Academy scholars for the 2019-20 season - our understanding was that the approach from Southampton happened around the time the club were defining which players they wished to offer scholarships to, meaning that the Premier League club's interest trumped that. Academy Director Matt Hale - a former Yeovil Town first team player - revealed him alongside Manchester City striker Sam Bellis who will also join the same year group. Hale explained:
"We are delighted to welcome both Sam and Marco to the club from Manchester City and Yeovil respectively. Both players have been signed as a result of our diligent talent ID and recruitment process, having monitored both closely for some time. Marco, having been at Yeovil for the past four years, has a real hunger and desire to succeed. He is a clever, tricky player who will offer creativity to the Under-18s group."
Marco was capped by Romania Under-16s earlier this year, and he explained that it was whilst he was playing for them that he first became aware that Southampton were trying to sign him:
"It's overwhelming to be here. As soon as I visited Southampton I was amazed. I'm very excited. I was away with Romania on international duty when I first heard of interest from Southampton. My family are all very proud and being here is the first step towards achieving my dream of becoming a professional footballer."
Unless something went badly wrong, Yeovil Town would be fully entitled to claim a fee for the attacking midfielder under the EPPP system. He joins goalkeeper Kingsley Latham, who was signed by Southampton in February 2017. Southampton don't mention a fee for Rus, but do describe him as being signed from Yeovil Town.
Earlier this summer, Academy midfielder Hong Wan was signed up by Wolverhampton Wanderers, but on that occasion Yeovil Town had already made the decision to release him as a scholar, meaning that he went to Molineux as a free agent.
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