Former Irish League midfielder Barry Johnston has tipped Linfield teenage sensation Trai Hume to change into a future Northern Eire star.
The 19-year-old defender – who’s valued at £200,000 – is anticipated to maneuver throughout the water throughout the January switch window.
Sunderland are believed to be in pole place to land Hume, who scored his second purpose of the season in Monday’s Large Two derby stalemate at Windsor Park.
Johnston – who received back-to-back titles with Cliftonville – says Hume’s insatiable starvation to succeed units him other than many different younger gamers within the Irish League.
“I am unable to converse extremely sufficient of the child,” Johnston advised Belfast Dwell’s That is What I Name Soccer podcast.
“I believe it is Celtic, Sunderland and Lincoln who’re in for Trai. With none disrespect to Lincoln, Celtic and Sunderland are two huge golf equipment.
“I’m positive he might be successful wherever he goes. I’ve mentioned this earlier than, he needs to be a footballer. Each single day that child tries to study and enhance. I do not assume there was a day he has taken the foot off the fuel.
“I’m glad he’s getting an opportunity. I learn an interview the place David Healy says he was shocked Trai did not get an opportunity to go when he was youthful.
“However I believe it’s a profit for younger gamers taking part in in our league. He’s full-time now, and he performed 40-odd video games for Ballymena final season and 30-odd this season with Linfield.
“In all probability 70 video games all in taking part in at a excessive degree of soccer. That’s higher than taking part in improvement soccer in England, and you will note the advantages of that and he’ll go on to play worldwide soccer with Northern Eire, no trouble.”
In the meantime, Northern Eire Below 17 and 19 supervisor Gerard Lyttle has hailed Hume’s resilience after lacking out on a cross-channel transfer a few years in the past.
Lyttle says Hume needed to “reinvent himself” after beginning off his profession as a centre-back.
“He’s a child who by no means gave up. He may have simply chucked it in,” Lyttle mentioned.
“He was in an excellent 2001 age group at worldwide degree, and loads of these gamers obtained a transfer.
“I believe the rationale Trai did not get a transfer is as a result of he performed centre-back coming by way of the ranks. And he was in all probability just a bit bit too small to be s centre-back who was going to make it in England.
“So he has kind of reinvented himself, by way of his place. The most important factor he did was go to Ballymena on mortgage and get a full season in males’s soccer taking part in proper wing-back.
“He has performed each sport at Below 21 degree at proper wing-back, and he simply has a little bit of the whole lot. He’s gifted, and he’s tactically and technically excellent. He understands the sport and is magnificent within the air contemplating he isn’t a giant 6ft-plus participant.
“He’s good going ahead, you noticed that along with his purpose in opposition to Glentoran. He needs to get within the field and get on the tip of issues. he additionally scores headers and is hard within the sort out.
“He needs to be a footballer, and he’s a dream to have in a workforce and I’m delighted there are golf equipment recognising his expertise and hopefully it’s the good for our sport.
“I can see him having a profession in worldwide soccer, he’s that good in my view.”