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Joe Bevan: The young prospect who sealed a major Premier League transfer

One of, if not the most interesting development during the winter transfer window was Joe Bevan’s move to English Premier League club Burnley for an undisclosed fee from Scottish Lowland League side Albion Rovers.  

The 19-year-old has joined the Clarets’ U21 squad on an 18-month contract until the summer of 2025 after spending a week on trial in December.

The striker signed for the Wee Rovers in January last year when the Coatbridge club were in Scottish League Two after spending time in the junior setup with Camelon Juniors and Kilsyth Athletic.

Bevan has grown into a talented young prospect having made an instant impression during his 12-month spell in North Lanarkshire under managers Brian Reid and Sandy Clark.

Let’s delve into three attributes that have contributed to the youngster securing a major transfer and how he has fared down south thus far…

Goalscoring Abilities

While at Cliftonhill, Bevan proved to be an influential presence on the pitch with 15 goals in over 40 appearances.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a bright start after being handed his debut in a 4-0 victory over Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic just four days after his signing was announced.

That was followed by his first goal for the Wee Rovers, converting the second goal of the afternoon against Stranraer.

In Brian Reid’s final victory as manager, Bevan celebrated a brace, scoring the first two goals in the space of five minutes during a 5-1 win over Dumbarton.

The club’s last eight matches as a SPFL club were under Sandy Clark and during that run of matches, the youngster scored six goals with three in two games.

In the Scottish Lowland League, Bevan would net four goals, however, his arguably most important strike was when he restored the Rovers’ lead in their Scottish Cup Third Round victory against the University of Stirling.

The publicity of the match, which was televised on BBC Scotland is believed to be what piqued the Premier League club’s interest in the young forward and that coupled with his impressive scoring ability thus far, demonstrates Bevan’s strength in attacking positions.

This trait has continued since his move to Burnley with the 19-year-old helping the young Clarets return to winning ways last Friday by netting his first two goals in a 4-0 victory over Peterborough United.

Squad Involvement

During the remainder of the club’s season in League Two, Bevan started in 19 matches, making only one appearance on the bench.

In the Scottish League Cup, he featured in all four matches which included ties against Dunfermline Athletic, Raith Rovers and Scottish Premiership club Kilmarnock, while his regular appearances in the starting lineup continued in the Lowland League campaign.

The youngster possesses an ability to integrate into a squad and become a key player on the park, a quality which he has already displayed for Andy Farrell’s side having started in all five matches this month.

Manager Praise

When he signed his first senior deal at Cliftonhill, manager Brian Reid praised Bevan’s “number of key mental and physical attributes” and that he was “willing to learn.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Farrell after Bevan’s brace against Peterborough: “Joe has some real good qualities in him, he is very quick and good round his feet.”

For any young footballer starting out in the game, to know that your manager has confidence and trust in your skills can only be a positive element in your aim to develop.

Therefore, if he continues to impress, the future will certainly be promising for Bevan, who has proven to be an exceptionally talented prospect in the Scottish game.

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