Rochdale defender Luke Matheson is being linked with a number of Premier League clubs with Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle all thought to be monitoring the 17-year-old, who has been tipped to have a big future.
Matheson made his senior debut for Rochdale at the age of just 15 when they faced Bury in the EFL Trophy, at the time becoming their youngest ever debutant. He was awarded the Man of Match award that night in what was an impressive display for his age.
Since his opening appearance, the youngster has gone to make 15 league appearances for Dale as he is now a regular in Brian Barry-Murphy’s team. The right-back enjoys driving forward, therefore, he is often involved in attacking plays his side produce.
The highlight of Matheson’s career so far came earlier this season in the Carabao Cup when he scored at Old Trafford against Manchester United to level the game at 1-1. Unfortunately for his side, they eventually lost on penalties to miss out on the giant-killing that night, however, all the headlines were about the ‘Rochdale wonderkid’ the next day.
Matheson recently signed his first professional contract with Rochdale in a three-year-deal. He is another product of the academy at the Greater Manchester club who have produced so many players who have gone on to play at a higher level. He has been at the club since the age of nine, so he is a real success story for their youth system.
Back in February, Matheson was called up into the England under-17 squad to face France where he started in the Three Lions’ 3-2 victory. He recently represented his country at an under-18 level too in games against Poland and Slovakia, the latter who they beat 1-0 on the road, so he is a player who is clearly rated by those who monitor young English players in this country.
Rochdale have made a mixed start to their League One campaign this season where they are 50/1 in the football betting to finish in the top six at the end of the 2018/19 campaign. Matheson is expected to continue to play lots of football as manager Barry-Murphy is not afraid to give the young players in his squad an opportunity to shine.
Higher hopes for Dale
Dale was in a relegation scrap last season but managed to survive with a late surge up the table at the end of the campaign. They are expected to finish much higher this season and still have hopes of finishing in the top six.
Newcastle has reportedly been scouting Matheson since January where they were initially impressed with his talent. Given his goal at Old Trafford though back in September, the two Manchester giants are also thought to now be interested in keeping him in the North West.
If a move for Matheson is made in either the January transfer window or next summer, he could be immediately loaned back to Rochdale in order to continue playing League One football which will help his progression at such a young age.