Manchester City have quietly confirmed the signing of Mechelen right-back Issa Kabore.
The 19-year-old played five times for Mechelen in the Belgium Jupiler Pro League last season, and impressed enough to persuade City to add him to their ranks.
Kabore, from Burkina Faso, has signed a five year contract at the Etihad. He will remain at Mechelen for the 2020/21 season.
City announced the signing on Wednesday with little fanfare, but there was more detail offered by Mechelen, with their sporting director Tom Caluwe expressing his delight at being able to keep Kabore at the club for another year.
He said: “This is a win-win situation for all parties. The player himself dreams of the Premier League and can calmly prepare for that step with us. City has a clear path in mind and indicated that our club is important for the further development of Kaboré. And this way we can still keep Issa in Mechelen.”
Gert Van Dyck, a board member at Mechelen, added: “We have carefully prepared this transition with the brokers of Issa, the agency Forza Sportsgroup. This transfer is the result of extensive cooperation.”
In a video posted to Mechelen’s Twitter account, Kabore can be seen speaking to City’s Head of Recruitment Gary Worthington and Head of Emerging Talent Scouting and Recruitment Phil Robinson over video link at the signing of his contract.
Worthington said: “Issa, this is about the most personal we can get at the moment, so it’s nice to see your face. First of all I want to thank you for agreeing to sign with us. You’ve come on a hell of a long way in a very short space of time.
“There’s going to be a lot of eyes on you, not just from Manchester City but from Mechelen supporters, from Belgium supporters, from African supporters. They’re all going to be following you now.
Robinson added: “Keep working hard. Don’t think you’ve got to change your style of play because you’ve now signed for Manchester City. Keep doing what you’re doing, keep learning from the guys there at Mechelen and I wish you all the best.
“I look forward to seeing you in person when all this lockdown has finished.”