English Premier League side Manchester City have paid tribute to their former Malawian youth team star Jeremy Wisten after his tragic death on Saturday.
As of noon yesterday, Wisten’s family was yet to release a statement on his passing and the cause of his death was being investigated.
According to the The Guardian newspaper of the United Kingdom, Wisten, 18, was born to Malawian parents and moved to England with his family as a baby.
He joined City in 2016 and played for the club’s elite development squads before leaving the club.
“The Manchester City family are saddened to learn of the passing of former academy player Jeremy Wisten,” the club said in a statement on Twitter @ManCity.
“We send our deepest condolences to his friends and family. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.”
City’s main team players Raheem Sterling and Aymeric Laporte were among those to respond to the club’s tweet, with French defender Laporte writing: “Horrible news… RIP young man.”
Two of Wisten’s former teammates Cole Palmer and Tommy Doyle—who recently made their first-team debut—also posted tributes to the centre-back.
“You Will Be Forever Missed,” Palmer wrote on Instagram alongside a series of pictures and videos of himself and Wisten. “Fly High My Brother Rest In Paradise!”
Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said: “We have received news of Jeremy’s passing with deep shock and sadness. We are lost for words.”
He described Wisten as an asset that is rare to find and nurture.
Said Nyamilandu: “When we set out on a campaign to follow up on Europe-based young talent of Malawian origin—with the view of convincing them to represent their motherland—we had the likes of Jeremy in mind.
“He had a bright future ahead of him and losing such talent is hard to accept. This is a huge loss to the family and the nation as a whole.”
According to Sky Sports, Wisten joined City’s ranks in February 2016 after impressing scouts during a lengthy trial.
The youngster made multiple appearances for City’s Select and Elite Academy squads.
Wisten had high hopes for his City career and had ambitions of emulating club legend Vincent Kompany.
“Maybe Vincent Kompany,” Wisten said when asked who he wanted to emulate.
“Just a bit better. With hard work, I can do it.”