U's deny 'Giggsy' link with Red Devils
MEDI Elito's Colchester United youth team colleagues have a new nickname for the talented winger - “Giggsy!”England Under-17 international Elito was linked with a possible move to Manchester United in some of the Sunday newspapers, a story that was dismissed by youth team manager Joe Dunne last night.
By Carl Marston
MEDI Elito's Colchester United youth team colleagues have a new nickname for the talented winger - “Giggsy!”
England Under-17 international Elito was linked with a possible move to Manchester United in some of the Sunday newspapers, a story that was dismissed by youth team manager Joe Dunne last night.
Elito himself has insisted that he would like stay at Layer Road, and continue his apprenticeship with the U's, and Dunne hopes that will indeed prove to be the case.
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The 16-year-old, who comes from East London, has taken the youth team by storm this season. Dunne's youngsters have only lost two matches in the Youth Alliance all season, and Elito's flair down the left flank for the U's was rewarded with an appearance in an International Under-17 Tournament in the Algarve last month.
“The lads have been reading the newspapers in the dressing room, and nicknaming him Giggsy for the day,” revealed Dunne. Ryan Giggs is the regular left-winger at Old Trafford.
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“It's all been very light-hearted. That's the kind of kid that Elito is. Nothing fazes him. He's a great character to have about the place, and he's told me himself that he wants to stay with us at Colchester.
“We all know that he's got terrific potential. He's not going to go off and train with Manchester United this week. The only reason he would go is if a club bought him, and that's not an invitation!
“The youth team has been having a good season, hanging off the coat-tails of the successes of the first team. Scouts have come down and watched us, as they have always come.
“Occasionally, one or two players come along who have a flash of brilliance, and it's no lie that Medi certainly has that!
“I suppose any publicity is good publicity, but Medi is not taking the attention too seriously. I would say that he's going to wear the blue-and-white of Colchester United. He's not going anywhere!” added Dunne.
Elito is still a first year professional, and he does not turn 17 until a few weeks time. He has broken into the Reserves, and is set to play for the U's second string at home to Northampton Town today.
But his name shot to prominence when he was selected to play for England Under-17s last month. Elito played an hour in the first match against hosts Portugal, and another hour in the final game against Germany. Dunne went out to the Algarve to watch his young star in action against the Portuguese.
Dunne continued: “Medi is a flair player. He plays wide on the left, and is very attack-minded. He has all the tricks, but we have to add other bits to his game, especially on the defensive side.
“For me, there are a couple of players who are miles ahead of him, in terms of the thinking part of the game, but he has the ability.
“I would say that Medi's best chance of progressing as a footballer is to stay at Colchester. There's no need to move anywhere until at least the age of 20 to 22. If you want a big move, then that is the time.
“Medi wants to follow the example of players like Lomana (Lua Lua), Greg (Halford) and Dean (Gerken),” added Dunne.
Talented front-runner Lua Lua played 67 first team games for Colchester, before moving to Newcastle United for a £2.25m fee just before his 20th birthday. Right-back Halford, meanwhile, left the U's in January for a £2.5m to Premiership side Reading. He is 22.
And Gerken is currently enjoying his longest ever run in the U's first team. The 21-year-old made his 50th senior appearance last Friday, in the 5-1 defeat at Derby County.
Colchester United won the Best Matchday Programme award at the Football League 2006-07 awards night, staged at the Grosvenor Hotel in London last weekend.
The U's had been short-listed in this category alongside Crystal Palace, Hull City, Cardiff City, Plymouth QPR and Stockport County.