Banton heads to MLS
England youth international Jason Banton looks set to join the likes of David Beckham and Robbie Keane after signing with the MLS.
By Chris Galea
Last Updated: 10/01/12 12:34pm
Highly-rated England youth international Jason Banton looks set to join the likes of David Beckham and Robbie Keane next season after signing with the MLS.
The 19-year-old has been on the books of Arsenal, Blackburn, Liverpool and Leicester, but has turned his attentions to the USA to help fulfil his potential.
The player's advisor Ryan Badu of Ad Alta Sports says that Banton's switch to the States could become a common trend amongst England's most talented youngsters.
"Jason is excited and looking forward to the challenge ahead," Badu told Sky Sports.
"At this stage of his career reserve-team football is not aiding his development.
"The MLS is growing and they are now looking to invest in youth from abroad.
"With competition for playing time hard to find for talented young players at the bigger clubs in England, this type of move could well turn out to be more a common trend than a flash in the pan."
The pacey striker joined Arsenal at just seven years of age, playing alongside Jack Wilshere and Benik Afobe, before switching to Blackburn, where he was top scorer for their academy in his first year at the club.
He became Kenny Dalglish's first signing for Liverpool last January and enjoyed a trial spell with MLS outfit Chivas USA in April.
However, he joined Leicester last summer and made his senior debut during a loan stint at League Two side Burton Albion in October as a second-half substitute in their 2-2 draw with Bradford.
The Tottenham-born youngster will become the youngest ever English pro to transfer to the MLS, with the Superdraft held in Kansas City on Thursday.
Banton hopes to showcase his ability across the Pacific and ultimately prove why the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham were once keen to sign him.