St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin is hopeful of fending off “huge” competition for Dylan Reid after making him the youngest player ever to feature in the Scottish Premiership.
The midfielder featured against Rangers this month, five days after his 16th birthday.
Goodwin now aims to frustrate some of Europe’s top clubs by convincing the teenager and his family that Paisley is the best place to progress his career with a longer-term contract.
“Dylan has now obviously turned 16 and we were able to give him his debut at Ibrox and it was no more than he deserved,” the Irishman said.
“He has been in with the first team for a number of weeks now training. He is used to the surroundings now and is a lot more confident in himself and he just looks like he belongs here. He is 16 and mixing it with 30-year-olds and is not out of place in the slightest.
“We are delighted to have him and we are very hopeful we will be able to get a longer-term deal sorted out for Dylan in the next couple of days. The talks are ongoing there.
“I had a really good meeting with his family about 10 days ago now and I explained to them what my feelings were in terms of Dylan’s development, why staying at St Mirren was the best option for him.
“He has had his head turned by a number of huge clubs. The two big boys in Scotland would love to have him, half a dozen of the big lads in England would love to have him, and we’ve got teams in Germany as well.
“We are very fortunate that he’s here right now but I think we have managed to put our point across to his mum about the importance of staying here.
“And we have been able to show her examples of some really good players who have come through the system here at St Mirren.
“Obviously we talked about John McGinn because what John is doing in the English Premier League and with the Scottish national team and we don’t see why Dylan, without putting too much pressure on him, can’t go and do a similar type of thing.
“He will get opportunities here and that’s the most important thing.
“There’s lots of good, young talented footballers that get swallowed up in the system.
“They like the idea of playing for the big boys, pulling on the Celtic or Rangers tracksuit, the Aberdeen tracksuit. At 16/17 these boys are the best in the country, and by the time they get to 21 they have still not kicked a ball in the first team.”
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