The PT believes Peterborough United received a huge fee for a 17 year-old with no first-team experience.
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England Under 18 youth international Benjamin Arthur left London Road for Premier League side Brentford yesterday. He will initially be involved with the club’s B team alongside Romeo Beckham, son of England and Manchester United legend David Beckham.
A near seven-figure fee for a player yet to break into a first team squad represents decent business for Posh who are always vulnerable to big club predators if a top youth talent shows no inclination of signing a pro deal. It’s understood that was the case with Arthur whose negotations at London Road were conducted by an agent adamant his client would prefer to leave.
Posh are known to have made Arthur a substantial offer to sign a pro deal with them. They believed he would develop more quickly by playing regular men’s first-team football as has been the case with clubmate Ronnie Edwards.
Arthur had been at Posh since he was 13 and it was touch and go for a while as to whether or not Posh would keep him in the Academy because of injury and other struggles.
It turned out to be a wise move to retain him as his sudden development led to an England call-up, chairman Darragh MacAnthony describing him a ‘better prospect at the same age than Edwards’ and now a fat transfer fee, in excess of the £500k compensation fee Posh received for Academy star Adler Nascimento from Crystal Palace two years ago.
Posh have also negotiated millions of pounds of add ons should Arthur break into the Brentford first-team and go on to have a successful career. These are remarkable numbers for a player who was essentially a scholar. MacAnthony has called it a record deal for a 17 year-old League One scholar.
There will inevitably be a considerable sell-on clause in the deal.
There was some pushback from Posh fans when the deal was unveiled last night. Some were disappointed never see such a highly-rated player perform for the first team.
MacAnthony wouldn’t comment on the fee involved for Arthur, but took to social media on Thursday night to say: ‘Doing a league 1 record deal for a 17 year old on scholarship contract who hasn't played for the first team is smart business. More on why in the next few days.
‘Forget how much. This player was wanted by every top Premier League club & Brentford’s owner & staff didn’t mess around & went bang. Superb talent who will go all the way in my opinion.”