Who is Jayden Braaf? Man City wonderkid agrees shock €9m move to Udinese
Manchester City wonderkid Jayden Braaf is set to sign for Udinese on loan until the end of the season, with the Serie A side reportedly possessing an option to make the deal permanent for €9 million.
The 18-year-old, who is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in his age group, is flying to Udine on Sunday in order to sign for the club in a surprise deal.
Udinese coach Luca Gotti has confirmed the transfer.
“Braaf is coming here, yes,” he said.
“I’ve seen some videos and he has incredible skills.”
Udinese have been active in the January transfer window, having already signed Spanish veteran Fernando Llorente from Napoli.
Who is Jayden Braaf?
Braaf is a highly-rated winger who joined City’s youth academy from PSV Eindhoven in 2018, having previously spent time at fellow Dutch giants Ajax.
Asked last year about the Sancho (pictured below) comparisons, Braaf replied: “Everyone is thinking about Sancho No.2 but I’m just myself, I’m not the new Sancho or something like that.”
Braaf’s development in the City youth ranks was so impressive that he was named as the club’s Under-23 Player of the Season last season.
He scored nine goals in just 16 appearances in Premier League Division 2 for Manchester City U23s in 2019/20. He also played a key role in City winning the FA Youth Cup last year.
Internationally, Braaf was also a key player in the 2019 U17 World Cup, scoring and assisting twice as Holland reached the semi-finals.
However, despite his rise, things broke down between Braaf and City this season.
The teenager became unhappy with his lack of involvement with the first team, especially after Pep Guardiola publicly called for Braaf to be patient.
This unhappiness also resulted in him being left out of the Under-23 team in recent weeks. Indeed, he has started only two games this season for the side.
By January of 2021, Braaf had decided to seek an exit. Borussia Dortmund were heavily linked with signing the winger, while Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United were also said to be interested.
But it was Udinese who eventually won the race for his signature.
It is a somewhat surprising move for a club who a decade ago were one of Europe’s best teams at developing young talent but have fallen off the radar in recent seasons.