Are more reinforcements arriving for the British invasion at Red Bull New York?
Rumors out of the U.K. this month have Red Bulls as one of the clubs circling around Veron Parkes, a forward currently stationed with the U-23 reserves at West Ham United of the Premier League. As reported by Football Insider as well as West Ham blog Claret and Blue, the 18-year old Parkes has turned down a new contract due to lack of first team opportunities and is on the radar of clubs including France’s AS Monaco and Scotland’s Celtic as well as RBNY. With the the short length remaining on his current deal at West Ham, Parkes would likely require only a minimal compensation fee.
Though not corroborated by any quotes, Parkes is listed by Transfermarkt as having dual citizenship with both the United Kingdom and Spain. A native of the Croydon district of London, Parkes had brief stints in the Arsenal and Chelsea academies before joining his local club Crystal Palace as 9-year old. In late 2017 Parkes moved to West Ham United’s under-18 side and has spent the last two-and-a-half years at the East London club’s famed Academy of Football.
In an interview last month with video blog Deluded Gooner, Parkes describes himself as able to play across the attacking line but preferring to be a central striker and also discusses his frustration at feeling “blocked” from a pathway to the first team at West Ham.
Were Parkes to make the move to New York, he would become the latest piece of a notable influx of British personnel to RBNY over the last year. With reports of English scout/recruiter Paul Mitchell taking a more hands-on role overseeing matters in Harrison, the club’s technical staff has seen the arrival of numerous recruits from the U.K. including chief scout Paul Fernie, data analyst Natasha Patel, and ultimately new head sporting executive Kevin Thelwell.
Parkes would also be the second Crystal Palace academy alumnus to join RBNY this season, with the club having signed fullback Mandela Egbo in January. Like Parkes, Egbo left Croydon and eventually London in his teenage years to seek better opportunities abroad. This additionally mirrors recent moves by German sister club RB Leipzig to bring in highly-regarded but professionally-frustrated Premier League prospects like Ademola Lookman from Everton and Emile Smith-Rowe from Arsenal.
With the expensive squads of the Premier League forcing young British talent to look elsewhere for professional minutes, Red Bull appears well-positioned to mine this exodus for its best talent. If these particular rumors come to fruition, Parkes could join Egbo as the first ripples of this wave into the New York squad.