According to reports, Toronto FC homegrown talent Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty has been training in England with a couple of big name Premier League clubs.
Toronto FC have always prided themselves on how much dedication they put into their academy, producing the likes of Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan and Ayo Akinola. Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty appears to be the latest such talent with the opportunity to enjoy a long and prosperous career.
When Marshall-Rutty signed a six-year homegrown player contract with the first team in Jan. 2020, he was just 15 years of age. This made him the youngest player in club history to agree a deal and spoke volumes about how highly rated he was.
Earlier this year, the Brampton, Ontario native was named by The Guardian as one of the best young talents in world football (the only one from MLS). He also became the youngest player to ever be called up to Canada’s senior men’s team, breaking the record held by a certain Alphonso Davies, albeit he has yet to make his debut.
Due to all this, Marshal-Rutty has received a lot of attention from around Europe, including England. As such, the last news surrounding the young player should come as little surprise.
As per Patrick Austen-Hardy of the Daily Mirror, Marshall-Rutty has been training with Arsenal (along with Colorado Rapids duo Darren Yapi and Dantouma Toure). Austen-Hardy reports that the Reds’ forward will have a trial with the Gunners, to help the club decide whether or not to make an offer for him.
Interestingly, Tom Bogert of mlssoccer.com offers a slightly different report regarding what is happening with Marshall-Rutty. Bogert writes that sources have advised him the 17-year-old was with Arsenal, but is now training with Liverpool.
Regardless, it all adds up to Toronto FC likely soon receiving offers for Marshall-Rutty, although apparently not until around summertime next year. As per Bogert, the youngster won’t be 18 until June and doesn’t currently hold a European Union passport (although there is nothing to stop a club agreeing a deal in principle).
Marshall-Rutty has so far played 12 games for the TFC first team, including four starts. All but one of his 12 appearances came during this past season, with him notching one assist in the process.
The pacey winger previously said he realised a childhood dream by playing for Toronto FC. However, what player wouldn’t have their head turned, when reportedly receiving attention from the likes of Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.
You could argue that it would benefit Marshall-Rutty — and by extension TFC — to play a full season in MLS before any decision about his future is made. Given he can’t move until he turns 18 at the earliest anyway, this seems like a reasonable compromise, but it will be interesting to see what transpires moving forward.
How highly do you rate Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty? Do you believe he has what it takes to succeed at the top level in England or around Europe? Let us know in the comments section below.