Kolkata, Oct 4 (IANS) After spending a rough 2016 in his fledgling career, young England midfielder Nya Kirby, here to take part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, will have his family by his side when his team locks horns with Chile in the Group F opener at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday.
“We will be here supporting him when England play Chile. His father will arrive tomorrow,” Kirby’s elder brother told reporters on the sidelines of England’s first official training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex here.
Kirby, who can play wide as well as in the hole, was roped in by English Premier League side Crystal Palace this summer by manager Frank de Boer who was later sacked.
He was subsequently handed a debut against Liverpool in a pre-season friendly, coming off the bench in a 2-0 defeat to the Reds.
The bow kicked off a new chapter in his life after a controversial past few months.
In early 2016 he was in Tottenham Hotspur’s academy and called up to train with the first team ahead of a Europa League tie with German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund.
But Kirby attempted to move to Chelsea last summer, and appeared for one of their youth teams last July, having surprisingly decided he wanted to move on from Tottenham Hotspur.
According to The Times, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was livid with Chelsea and threatened to report them alleging tapping up, and the Blues backed off bringing him in.
Kirby then signed with Crystal Palace, making it official when he turned 17 earlier this year.
Though not wanting to comment on the entire episode, his brother said: “He worked hard, trained hard and was dedicated. His favourite footballer is Ronaldinho.”
Kirby has turned out four times for the England U-16 side in his nascent career so far.
England trained under floodlights on Wednesday evening after arriving in the afternoon on Tuesday. Jadon Sancho was also seen going through the paces with the squad after joining late due to club commitments. Borussia Dortmund is likely to have him back after the group stages are over.
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