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EXCLUSIVE: Why Chelsea young gun Izzy Brown is the ‘perfect signing’ for Huddersfield…

Izzy Brown has been a name English football fans have followed since his emergence as a talented teenager just under four years ago.

At 16 years and 117 days, the Peterborough-born forward became the second youngest player to appear in the Premier League when he turned out for West Bromwich Albion against Wigan Athletic in May 2013.

In July that same year, Chelsea signed Brown from the Baggies with the hope of developing a quality player for the future.

Now in 2017, Brown finds himself in the Championship with Huddersfield Town on his third loan spell away from Stamford Bridge.

With more than 50 games of senior experience under his belt at Vitesse Arnhem, Rotherham United and now with the Terriers, England U19 ace Brown continues to game to the next level in West Yorkshire.

Huddersfield's head of football operations Stuart Webber spoke to Tribalfootball.com about how the loan deal came about and highlighted the impact the club expects from the undoubted talent.

"He's a player that anyone in England has known for a long, long time," said Webber.

"Even back when I worked at Liverpool and he was at West Brom, so he is a player we have known about for seven or eight years.

"We've followed his progress with interest. Obviously he went to Vitesse Arnhem on loan and we followed him there.

"We wanted to see how he would react to senior football. Then he went to Rotherham in the summer.

"We'd shown some interest in the summer but at the time, we weren't sure we needed him, we were doubting we would give him enough game time.

"So he went to Rotherham. He wasn't one we made an offer for but we were interested in him."

During his time at at the New York Stadium, Brown scored three goals and provided five assists in 20 appearances for the Millers which suggested to Webber that he was ready to make the move to Huddersfield.

The Terriers chief also felt the work the club has done with fellow Blues youngster Kasey Palmer this term had given them great hope of landing the versatile attacking midfielder.

"We saw how he adapted to the rigours of the Championship, which he did well quite early in the season," Webber added.

"We knew in January that was a position we would need to strengthen. We spoke with Chelsea quite early and asked if they wanted to pull him back early and re-loan him out.

"The work we had done in regards to Kasey put us in pole position as we had built up an element of trust of how we dealt with another of their young players.

"It become quit a comfortable deal to do in the end."

When Huddersfield signed Brown, head coach David Wagner described him as 'the perfect signing', which is an enormous wrap for a youngster coming into a brand new environment.

But Webber has explained the finer details of that comment from the German, who currently has Huddersfield sitting in the lofty position of third in the Championship on the back of a four-game winning run

"He's a talent for sure. He helps us a lot because he can play any of the front four positions, 11, 9, 10," he added further.

"We predominantly see him coming in to compete with (Rajiv) van La Parra on the left wing but the last two games he's played as a number 10 because Palmer has been injured and Jack Payne has been suspended.

"That's probably shown that he was a 'perfect signing' because he has come in and in two games he scored two goals and made one assist as a number 10.

"Nobody else (in the squad) probably could have done that.

"His flexibility was what attracted us to him but he would like to be seen primarily as a left winger and that's where we seen him at.

"But the added benefit of being able to play various positions in the Championship, where there are so many games, is really helpful.

"At Rotherham he was playing every week and he was concerned (about coming to Huddersfield). Obviously we are doing reasonably well in the league, we have a stronger squad than Rotherham - with the greatest respect - and he was worried about his game time being limited.

"At that point we told him his flexibility is really going to help him play a lot more.

"That's proved correct as he has started all the games since he's been here and we have a pretty small squad so we are comfortable that a player like him will always have enough game time."

And Webber also feels that the form and development of other loan players like Danny Ward (Liverpool), Aaron Mooy (Manchester City), Elias Kachunga (Ingolstadt) and Chelsea's Palmer helped the club secure the prized signature of Brown.

"We are really hopeful that the work David and the coaching staff have done continues to shine through," he said.

"What a great step forward for our football club that it wasn't a fight to get Izzy.

"Chelsea said: 'From a sporting point of view we know you'll look after him, we know you'll make him better, more importantly'.

"We are really hopeful that going forward theses big clubs will look at us in a positive light."

Brown added another goal to his swiftly increasing tally when scoring the opener in the weekend's 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

He now has four goals in seven outings for the Terriers ahead of Tuesday night's clash with Rotherham.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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