Manchester City have made a deal to sign young Rochdale striker Kwadwo Baah at the end of the season, but despite his young age his name is already familiar to Crystal Palace fans.
Baah has impressed for the Dale this season, scoring three times in Ligue 1 despite being only 18 years old.
His performances caught the eye north of the border, with Rangers sniffing, but it was Premier League giants Man City who won the race for his signing.
Baah will move to Etihad Stadium at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, when his contract at Crown Oil Arena expires.
According to The Guardian, Baah has signed a pre-contract deal that will see Rochdale receive pay when he leaves, with the youngster likely to join a Championship club on loan next season.
But what is the connection with the palace?
Well, Baah is a former Eagles academy player – but that’s not why he’s popular among their fanbase; his first moment in the limelight came during Palace’s home game against West Ham in October 2016, where Baah was a ball boy.
With Palace 1-0 down, the 13-year-old realized Hammers goalkeeper Adrian’s time wasted and decided to take matters into his own hands.
Grabbing the ball after it came out for a goal kick, Baah ran onto the pitch and placed the ball on the edge of the six-meter penalty area for the Spanish striker in an attempt to speed up the process. Unfortunately, this act of bravery was wasted as West Ham held on for the win.
“I saw the players get really mad that the goalkeeper was taking a long time,” he said in an interview with the Crystal Palace social media team at the time. “The crowd started booing the keeper, so I got angry too…”
In response to whether he liked receiving the cheers from the worshipers at Selhurst Park, he replied, “It’s like… being on the pitch when you’re really famous and everyone starts to cheer you on, c ‘is quite a good feeling. ”
It seems he was made for the big stage.
Baah was actually released from Palace Academy when he was 14, but got a scholarship to Rochdale in 2019 with help from Kinetic Academy in South London.
He now finds himself on his way to one of England’s biggest clubs.
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