Youth football expert backs 'fantastic' Joe Shields after Chelsea switch

We’re delighted to welcome the founder of Kinetic Academy Harry Hudson as our exclusive columnist. Each week the youth football expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on wonderkids across the UK…

Joe Shields has been a staple of youth football for years having been a key part of Manchester City’s youth recruitment plans over the years.

But he decided to leave the Premier League champions in the summer and join Southampton as the head of recruitment at St Mary’s Stadium where he brought in City youngsters Sam Edozie, Romeo Lavia, Gavin Bazunu and Juan Larios.

His success in recruitment on the South Coast saw Chelsea take note and he has since been confirmed to have made the move to Stamford Bridge, as per Fabrizio Romano.

Prior to his career in the Premier League, Shields worked with the Kinetic Academy and his good friend Harry Hudson after they met at university.

Hudson went on to create the academy in 2011 and brought Shields in to coach and scout players who eventually moved onto professional teams including Joe Aribo, now at the Saints.

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“I think Joe is a fantastic recruiter at finding talent from a young age,” Hudson told The Football Wonderkids before the move was confirmed. “It’s not always undiscovered but it is always really world-class youth talent.

“Whichever club he works at he’ll bring that to the table. It’s probably been a very turbulent four to six weeks for Joe but I’m sure whatever he decides to do it will be the right choice for him and his family.

“I wouldn’t know too much about it but I imagine that there’s a lot of safeguarding and ways that clubs go about protecting their resources and information.

“I don’t think City wanted to lose Joe to Southampton in the first place and if he then goes onto another club with big resources then they might be even more sad, I don’t know.”

Todd Boehly is still trying to revolutionse the backroom staff at Chelsea and will not stop his recruitment drive off the pitch with Shields now in place.

In other Kinetic Academy news, Hudson is quietly confident that the team partnered with Corinthian Casuals can make history in the FA Youth Cup.