Man-of-the-Match in the World Cup will naturally turn heads. When it's a 16-year-old in the U20 World Cup, even more so. Daniel De Silva, the player in question, signed his first professional contract with Perth in February at age 15. Now the Glory are rebuffing offers from around the world for the talented teenager.
Prior to signing with Perth, De Silva was poised to sign a contract with Everton, but the deal fell through due to visa issues. The then 15-year-old was the youngest ever Glory debutant when he came on as a substitute against Sydney FC, four days before his 16th birthday.
De Silva scored in the Young Socceroos' 1-1 draw against Colombia in this month's U20 World Cup in Turkey. The Man-of-the-Match performance put the youngster on the radar of myriad clubs, according to a report in The Telegraph. Yet despite rumors to the contrary, Manchester United is not among them, though new manager David Moyes tried to sign De Silva before he left Everton this spring.
The Glory will begin training camp on Monday with De Silva very much a part of the team. Though he made just four appearances late in the 2012/13 season, manager Alistair Edwards is keen on keeping De Silva in Perth as long as he can:
"If the likes of Barcelona and others come knocking on the door, that might change the picture. But just to go overseas for the sake of it; he's better off staying here. Then you go away as a senior, experienced, developed player, as opposed to another promising youngster."