Southend United attacking midfielder Jack Payne is attracting the interest of higher division clubs according to the Daily Mail.

The 21 year old is set to leave Roots Hall in the summer when his contract expires and reports have linked the player with a move to either a Premier League or Championship club with a number of higher division clubs currently keeping tabs on the youngster.

The Tower Hamlets born midfielder started his career in Tottenham Hotspur’s youth academy but failed to earn a professional deal at White Hart Lane and was released by the club as a teenager.

The youngster was given a second chance in the professional game by Essex club Southend United who signed the player for their Under 15s side and the player has graduated to the senior side and grown to play a starring role for The Shrimpers.

Payne has made 72 senior appearances for Southend United and has scored 16 goals for the club and his performances this season have attracted plenty of admiration from clubs in English football’s top two divisions.

Southend United won the League 2 Play Offs by defeating Wycombe Wanderers in the Play Off Final at Wembley last season and Payne played a part in the club’s promotion after being introduced as a substitute and scoring a penalty in The Shrimpers 7-6 penalty shootout success over The Choirboys.

While it is not yet known where Payne will play his football next season, there is no doubting the fact that the player is destined for bigger and better things in the near future.

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I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook