⚽ Mariners face bigger battle to hang onto young starlet

Reports in the Daily Mail suggest that a host of Premier League clubs are looking at a young Grimsby Town starlet.

Leicester City, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion are listed as the clubs interested in the signing of youngster Mattie Pollock from Blundell Park.

And Up The Mariners can reveal that Ian Holloway faces an even stronger battle to keep the 18-year-old centre-half in a Mariners’ shirt.

Aside from the quartet of clubs listed above, Aston Villa and Newcastle United both sent scouts to run their rule over the highly-rated defender last season, as well as recently-relegated Watford.

Pollock, who is the son of former Manchester City favourite Jamie, came through the ranks at Leeds until the age of 15. He then joined his father’s side Polton Allstars, from where the Mariners signed him in 2018.

It didn’t take long for the teenage defender to make an impression at Blundell Park and he made his league debut in the Mariners’ excellent 2-1 win at Exeter City in December 2018 – this after the men from North East Lincolnshire were reduced to ten men.

Gradually eased into the first team by previous Town boss Michael Jolley, Mattie had made 23 appearances for the Mariners before the season was curtailed because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

It is understood from the player’s agent that a move to a club in the North/North East is preferable, with some insiders tipping the success of England international Harry Maguire at Sheffield United as the perfect blueprint for Pollock’s progression.

With the prices being asked for in the current transfer market, it’s likely that any fee for Pollock would eclipse the one paid by Peterborough United for Ryan Bennett in 2009/10 and may even push into the seven-figure range that had previously been received for homegrown starlets Gary Croft and John Oster in the nineties.

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