Date: 25th January 2019 at 7:20am
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Premier League side Bournemouth have this week completed the signing of young and highly rated centre-half Chris Mepham from Brentford for the princely sum of £12million and speaking previously about his rise in the professional game, he recounted a story about how we rejected him as a lad.

The 21-year-old Welshman classes Queens Park Rangers as his boyhood club and speaking to the Guardian in May of last year, he opened up about being rejected by us as he was looking to get a foot on the ladder.

“The other one I had lined up was QPR, and that’s my boyhood team. They had a meeting with me and said: ‘When we come to sign someone, we look at one thing which we might try and develop. But we can’t see anything we can work on with you.’ That was very hard to hear. I remember my dad turned around and said: ‘He was at Chelsea for six years. There must be something there.’”

Having come through Chelsea’s system it’s not as clear cut in football as his dad would’ve liked, what coaches at a team can work on will also be partially dictated by what they are looking to add to that age group and unless you are a player with immense standout ability, if you don’t happen to tick that box, you won’t get picked up.

There are countless stories in the game of well-respected managers dismissing a young talent as someone who won’t make it before they then ram those words back down their throats in future years, and plenty of clubs release a youngster only to see them utterly thrive elsewhere.

It’s not a criticism of QPR’s youth setup, it’s just the nature of the game. He’s now a £12million rated Welsh international and QPR weren’t alone in ‘missing’ him, Chelsea did, as did Watford from his own words.

Sometimes for a young lad to get their breakthrough they just have to be in the right place at the right time and that is what makes the difference in the career they have.

Whilst I get the reaction on line with West London Sport looking further into our history of players rejected – Albert Adomah, Stuart Pearce and John Barnes to name just three – it does bite, but we are far from alone.