CHELSEA have moved fast to add Jamaican wonderkid Dujuan Richards to their esteemed academy,
The lighting-quick forward, 17, was confirmed to have a signed a contract with the Blues – who he will join when he turns 18.
Dujuan Richards has put pen to paper on a pre-contract agreement with Chelseahttps://www.instagram.com/whisper.9._/?hl=en
Richards signs a deal next to Craig Butler, left, the adoptive father of Leon Bailey and his coach
Originally, it was Newcastle who thought they were in pole position to sign the promising teenager.
After he impressed on trial in February, the Toon were desperate to push through a deal.
But, they were beaten to the punch by their Premier League rivals – who have claimed the talent’s signature.
However, Richards’ future could have been decided before his move to West London.
He revealed he snubbed a huge contract from an unnamed Middle Eastern club to pursue his dream of playing in the Premier League.
Richards has turned heads in his homeland and in the UK – playing for the Phoenix FC football academy.
He was groomed by Jamaican coach Craig Butler – the adoptive father of Aston Villa star Leon Bailey, who coaches at the Kingston-based club.
For the past five years his development has known no bounds, and last season he was particularly impressive.
Some 31 goals and 19 assists showed he was a cut above the rest.
Originally from Port Royal, his grandmother is English.
He earned the nickname Whisper among his peers and coaches.
“I don’t speak a lot, I listen much much more. That’s why they call me Whisper,” he revealed.
And the 6ft4in powerhouse also spent some time in the UK, where he studied at Brooke House College in Leicestershire.
Their impressive football academy played against Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, which gave the youngster the opportunity to showcase his talents against English opposition.
Standing at 6ft4in tall, Richards is a powerhousehttps://www.instagram.com/whisper.9._/?hl=en
Last season Richards bagged 31 goals and 19 assistshttps://www.instagram.com/whisper.9._/?hl=en
Newcastle thought they’d got him
Last month, Richards spent two weeks on trial at Newcastle United.
He was even invited to watch the Magpies play West Ham United at St James’ Park.
He believed he impressed.
He told ChronicleLive: “All I can say is I think did well and I was able to be seen by all the coaches. I am grateful for the opportunity and I believe it could be a good fit.
“I’m very pleased with how the trial went, and I believe my performance was impressive enough. I learned about their methods, their vision for the club and where they want to be.
“I know they are a very ambitious club and want to be playing in the Champions League. I am expecting to hear positively from the club.”
However, it was Chelsea who have now swooped to sign Richards on a pre-contract agreement.
Preferring to let his football do the talking, Richards is nicknamed ‘Whisper’https://www.instagram.com/whisper.9._/?hl=en
Butler confirmed on Instagram: “We are grateful to Chelsea Football Club and look forward to the continued relationship and partnership with our academy as we prepare Whisper for the Premier League.
“On a personal note, Chelsea FC was my boyhood dream club and I’m so pleased to have one of my players built in the furnaces of the Phoenix at Stamford Bridge.
“Thank you to the staff at Chelsea, especially Joe Shields for believing me two years ago when I told him that I was building the top talent, Dujuan ‘Whisper’ Richards.”
He has principles
Richards was offered a huge sum of money to sign for a club from the Middle East.
But, according to Butler, he turned it down for his dream move to the Premier League.
Richards was offered a life-changing amount of money by a club from the Middle East – but snubbed it for his dream to the Premier Leaguehttps://www.instagram.com/whisper.9._/?hl=en
Richards revealed: “Wow, that was a really difficult situation. I don’t want to elaborate much, but Jamaica is my home and my grandmother is English so I have a connection there too.
“Honestly I would never want to sell out my country. It was a huge sum of money, but it would be against my principles as a son of Jamaica and my career goals as a footballer.”