English Premier League champions Manchester City have signed an eight-year-old Malawian youngster Theophilus Chimpango for their Under-nine side.
Chimpango, who has been hailed as a promising gem, put pen to paper at the weekend.
He was born in England and both his parents are Malawians. His unveiling was graced by City’s captain Vincent Kompany.
His father, Boniface, a lawyer by profession, told The Nation in an interview on Saturday that the lad was spotted through agents.
“It is really some good and rare news. The boy has done well and, we as parents, are excited at his success. Our hope and prayer is that he shall remain focused and continue to develop within the academy structures,” he said.
On the probability of representing Malawi, the father said: “That cannot be ruled out as he is very clear of his roots.”
He said Theo, who plays either as a right winger or striker, “was so excited about the news. As you know, competition is tough in this sport and to be picked by such a big club is quite a feat”.
Theo started playing football at the age of four and, according to his father, has been training at the academies for City, Manchester United and Liverpool.
“But we finally settled for Man City because we loved their academy structure and ethos,” he said.
Theo’s maternal grandfather is former Bata Bullets (now Nyasa Big Bullets) left back Mike Mkuntha.
Former Flames midfielder Chance ‘Vinny’ Gondwe said there is need for authorities to follow up on such promising talent that could help the national team in future.