Manchester United have confirmed the signing of former Arsenal and Fulham youngster DJ Buffonge after he impressed during a trial at the Old Trafford club. The 17-year-old has signed as a scholar with the 20-time Premier League champions after featuring for the Under-18 team.
The attacking midfielder, whose full name is Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge, initially suffered a setback in his attempts to win a deal after picking up a groin problem, but club coaches have been impressed by his talent. The agreement was clinched on 13 November, less than a week after the player's 17th birthday, but the announcement was delayed.
Upon the news of him moving to United being confirmed, Buffonge said via his official Twitter page: "Thanks for all the support." Referencing his recovery from an injury suffered in August that cut short his trial, he added: "Been putting the work in! #Road2Recovery."
United's official website describes the player as "a creative midfielder who is very comfortable in possession of the ball". The player is expected to resume duties with the Under-18 side upon his recovery, a team currently coached by Paul McGuinness.
The latest player to earn promotion from the United academy into the first team was Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, who played the final 15 minutes of the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Coupled with Jesse Lingard's call-up to the England squad for the friendly against France, coach McGuinness has had much to celebrate in past seven days.
"It shows you how close you can be," United's academy coach told ManUtd.com. "You feel that in your own career. You're very close to it all but it's that last bit and they've got to make that impact and be ready to take the chance when it comes. You don't know when it will come so you have to be prepared all the time.
"You can't have a day or week off and think I'll be okay, I'll not live my life right over the weekend, because you don't know when the call is coming. It could be on Monday morning and you're with the first team. So you've got to be prepared 24-7. It's got to be your dream, and you've got to do it every day."