Leeds have beaten off competition from Liverpool and Chelsea to sign German teenage sensation Monty Gimpel.
The 17-year-old defender, who has been part of Leeds' YTS progamme this season, will sign a one-year professional deal with Simon Grayson's side this week despite firm interest from the two Premier League clubs and has been told he could be in contention for the first team after just six months' full training.Gimpel, who is finishing his studies at Ardingly College in West Sussex - the school Frank Lampard went to - won the independent schools football association(ISFA) U16 Player of the Year last season.
Ardingly College Head of Football, Nick Tester, who also once played for the England ISFA, said: “After just 5 minutes of seeing Monty play I knew we had one of the best players I had seen on the schools’ circuit and a young man who could go far in the sport. His team captain Jon, who has been Highly Commended for his outstanding performances during the 2009-10 season,said he is probably the most dedicated sportsman I have ever worked with. He has an exceptional talent and I firmly believe he has a future in football.”
Tooting & Mitcham boss Mark Beard revealed in June 2010 it was his classroom connections that has enabled the Terrors to bring German teenage sensation to Imperial Fields for a short time before Leeds made him an offer to train with them.Beard said: “The move came about as I help out with the coaching at Ardingly School in Wessex.
“The school went on tour to Valencia last summer and when we were heading out there we were told a German kid was going to join up with us as he was enrolling at the school.
“Apparently he had been captain and player of the year for Hanover’s youth team, but I did not pay that much attention to it.
“We ended up playing the Valencia youth team and Monty played at centre half and he was unbelievable.
“Since then I have been working with him at the school and he is an amazing talent.
“As he wants to carry on his education he is not interested in a pro club yet, so we have managed to tempt him down to Tooting at least for this season.”
The 6ft plus defender is making waves in his native country, with a German documentary crew filming a special programme on these shores last week.
And with Leeds United tracking the youngster, Beard reckons Tooting fans are in for a real treat.
He added: “Monty has everything he needs to be a great professional footballer.
“He has two good feet, he is quick and strong in the air.
“He is extremely comfortable on the ball and he reads the game superbly