Sammy Braybrooke

Leicester City Academy Stars Sign Professional Contracts

Leicester City are delighted to confirm that 15 of its Academy players have signed professional contracts with the Football Club.
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- Fifteen players agree professional contracts with the Foxes
- Kasey McAteer, Sammy Braybrooke, Ben Nelson, Ben Grist, Wanya Marcal-Madivadua and Tawanda Maswanhise among those to have signed deals
- A number of Academy graduates have progressed to the First Team in recent seasons

With a host of talent continuing to come through the ranks at the Club’s famous Academy, a number of its brightest prospects have committed to continuing their development with the Club by putting pen to paper on professional terms with the Foxes.

The Club have a proud history of developing young players for the First Team, with Academy graduates Harvey Barnes, Hamza Choudhury, Luke Thomas and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall all progressing through the pathway in recent seasons.

Kasey McAteer, who made his First Team debut in a 4-0 win over Newcastle the December, has agreed a new deal. The 20-year-old midfielder has been part of the Club’s Academy since the age of eight and also featured in the 4-1 FA Cup win at home to Watford in January.

Midfielder Sammy Braybrooke, 17, has impressed in his role as a deep-lying playmaker at club and international level this season, with those displays earning him the captain’s armband for England Under-18s during a recent international break.

Alongside him in that England Under-18s side was promising young central defender Ben Nelson, whose progress through the Academy ranks has seen him take part in several First Team squads, including last season’s UEFA Europa League visit to Zorya Luhansk in Ukraine. The 17-year-old was also named LCFC’s Academy Player of the Season for 2020/21.

Nineteen-year-old Wanya Marcal-Madivadua has also signed a professional deal on the back of his rapid progress in the Development Squad, which has also seen him feature for Portugal at Under-20 level as well as making his First Team debut as a substitute in the 4-1 FA Cup victory at home to Watford.

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Chris Popov
Chris Popov

Chris Popov has been in excellent goalscoring form for the Club's Under-18s this term.

Tawanda Maswanhise, meanwhile, was named in Brendan Rodgers’ squad for the first-time last season for the trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United and after the 19-year-old’s involvement with the First Team’s pre-season fixtures this summer, he continues to show promise in his development.

There is also a first professional contract for highly rated defender Ben Grist, 17, who joined City’s Academy ranks from Grimsby Town amid interest from a host of other clubs, as well as goalkeeper Brad Young, 19, who has also agreed professional terms following his move from Hartlepool United.

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Ben Grist
Ben Grist

Defender Ben Grist, 17, joined from Grimsby Town.

Twenty-one-year-old Lewis Brunt, who made his first senior start for the Foxes in the FA Cup win over Watford has also signed a contract, along with fellow defenders Bayli Spencer-Adams, 20, Iestyn Hughes, 19, and Ronny Nelson, 18, while there were also new deals for midfield duo of Ethan Fitzhugh, 19, and 17-year-old Zach Booth.

Finally, 17-year-old Welsh striker Chris Popov and fellow countryman Will Russ, 19, have also put pen-to-paper on professional contracts during an incredibly exciting time for the next generation of Foxes stars.

All players will now continue their development through the Club’s pathway at Under-18s and Under-23s levels as they strive to join the first team ranks in the future.

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