Crewe boss Gradi believes Premier League interest detrimental to Clayton

Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi believes the news that a host of Premier League clubs are chasing youngster Max Clayton could hamper the striker’s development.

The 17-year-old opened his account for the club on his professional debut on Wednesday as the Railwaymen defeated Macclesfield 1-0 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

17 different Premier League clubs were understood to be represented by scouts at Gresty Road and Gradi believes newspaper reports of an imminent offer from Tottenham Hotspur are unfair on Clayton: “It doesn’t do anyone any good, it raises the expectation level.

“His parents are terrific and that’s why he’s handling it very well, but sometimes the parents can get carried away and they put great expectation on their kids.

“With the great rewards that there are now for players who make it to the top, there’s definitely more pressure than there used to be.”

If Clayton were to progress to the Premier League his development would be another feather in the cap for Crewe’s prolific youth academy that has seen a number of star graduates in recent years.

Danny Murphy, David Vaughan and Dean Ashton are notable former Alex youth stars that have progressed to England’s top flight while Nicky Maynard, currently plying his trade at Championship side Bristol City, has been highly-tipped for a move to the Premier League for a number of years.

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