With teams casting their nets ever wider in an attempt to snap up ‘the next big thing’, there can be very few surprises in football that can be unearthed. So it should come as no surprise that Bristol City have signed a talented eight-year-old, Gennaro Bifulco, to their Academy.

It is a well-established pattern amongst top-tier sides, such as Manchester City and Chelsea, that their extensive scouting network is used to scour ever-wider and ever-deeper in order to bring in the most talented youngsters out there. It is both a well-used and familiar tactic that leads to many coming in, but few making the eventual breakthrough to full representation at the club.

In a way, this ‘scour wide’ approach is almost like an insurance to a side, a comfort blanket as such. If you have a huge pool of talented youngsters, it means that your adversaries don’t have them and vice-versa.

In an imitation of this approach, though likely not for the same reasons, the Bristol Post and other publications such as Gloucestershire Live are reporting that the Robins have snapped up eight-year-old Gennaro Bifulco

Described by the Bristol Post as a “talented youth, who plays central midfield,” Bifulco has already played against youth set-ups from Swansea, Fulham and Chelsea, Bristol City had to move quickly to beat of the interest of impressed Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, who spotted him as a SIX-year-old.

His father, Leo, said to Gloucestershire Live, of the events leading up to Gennaro becoming a fledgling Robin: “It has been really enjoyable and it was a proud moment when he signed the contract. It has been a long journey but he has loved it at Bristol since day one because it is a really nice family atmosphere. The coaches at Bristol, Ian, Rav, Ollie and Ross have all been brilliant with him.”

Bristol City, currently 18th in the league table, are only four points above the drop zone and will be looking for a win and three points against Barnsley that will make their survival in the Sky Bet Championship that little more secure.
Should clubs be allowed to sign up players at such a young age?

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.