Tuesday 27 September 2016

UCD teenager Dylan Watts on the brink of fairy-tale move to Leicester City

Sean Ryan

Published 28/08/2016 | 02:30

UCD manager Collie O'Neill (pictured), who introduced Dylan Watts to UCD's first team last year, has high hopes for the 19-year-old. Photo: Sportsfile
UCD manager Collie O'Neill (pictured), who introduced Dylan Watts to UCD's first team last year, has high hopes for the 19-year-old. Photo: Sportsfile

Dylan Watts, one of the stars of UCD's Europa League campaign last year, is poised to sign for England's Premier League champions, Leicester City for an undisclosed fee. He is expected to make his debut on Tuesday for Leicester's U-23 development team if the transfer goes through on time.

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UCD manager Collie O'Neill, who introduced Watts to UCD's first team last year, has high hopes for the 19-year-old, who completed his Leaving Cert in June. "He is a confident player, who displays no nerves no matter how big the occasion," he said.

"He has great feet, is very comfortable on the ball, and has great courage, always wanting to get on the ball. He has a great future ahead of him, and if he continues to make the progress he has made in the last two years I see no reason why he can't make the Irish team."

Two years ago Watts wasn't even a regular with UCD's reserve team when O'Neill promoted him to their League of Ireland team. "In our Europa League games last year, I thought Dylan and Robbie Benson were our two best players," said the UCD boss, who is preparing for another big game at Belfield this evening (6.0) against leaders Limerick.

Watts, who is a former St Joseph's, Sallynoggin and St Kevin's player, is at his best, O'Neill said, when he is "given a licence to roam". While UCD are satisfied with the proposed fee, the add-ons for appearances, caps and possible transfers, if they kick in, is where the Students will profit.

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