Thursday 19 November 2015 12:08, UK
As Manchester United confirm the signing of scholar DJ Buffonge, we profile the former Arsenal and Fulham youth prospect as he embarks on life at Old Trafford…
Name: Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge
Place of birth: London, England
Nurtured through his early footballing years at Arsenal's academy, it was at Fulham where Buffonge started to make a name for himself.
Having moved to Motspur Park in 2010, Fulham's run to the FA Youth Cup final in 2013/14 presented Buffonge, then part of the clubs U16 set-up, with the chance to break into the U18 squad for league fixtures.
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It was an opportunity he took with both hands, making five appearances for Steve Wigley's side before cementing his place in the youth team the following season.
Fulham's youngsters were denied a repeat of the previous season's FA Cup run, exiting in the third round at the hands of Crewe Alexandra, but Buffonge was not to be deterred.
His adaptation to higher-level football was seamless, making 15 league appearances for the Cottagers despite still being classed as an U16 player.
Manchester United sign 17-year-old midfielder DJ Buffonge after a successful trial period.
Buffonge ended his five-year association with Fulham to join Manchester United on trial at the start of the 2015/16 season.
Desperate to leave a lasting impression while part of Paul McGuiness' U18s side, Buffonge made a great start to life at United, laying on an assist in his first appearance, a 1-1 draw with West Brom.
His progress from that point on was unfortunately cut short, with a groin injury sustained in United's third game of the season, a 3-2 victory over Derby, forcing him out for several months.
Despite this, the coaching staff at United's academy were confident they had seen enough to make his trial permanent, with Buffonge signing scholar papers on November 13.
What can Buffonge offer?
While talk of progression into United's first-team may be premature, as with any academy prospect, questions will eventually be asked as to whether they can become a star of the future.
So, what can Buffonge offer? Well, on confirming the signing, United revealed exactly what their latest academy prospect was capable of.
"He is a creative midfielder who is very comfortable in possession of the ball," a statement on the club's official website read.
It's a description that mirrors those attributed to Buffonge at Fulham, with the midfielder known to control games with an abundance of pace and flawless technique.
It remains to be seen whether Buffonge will progress as far as United's first team, but with Louis van Gaal's youth policy seeing the likes of Jesse Lingard, James Wilson and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson rise to prominence, he is certainly at a club that will strive to get the best out of him.