Ben Chilwell, Harvey Barnes, Hamza Choudhury, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Luke Thomas. The Leicester City Development Squad Player of the Season award has been a pretty good indicator of future success for the last 5 years.
All eyes now turn toward Shane Flynn then, after the Irish teenager was the latest to pick up the award.
Promising young defender is Leicester City's Development Squad Player of the Season! pic.twitter.com/t2NVxiavtf— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 21, 2021
Awards at this level don’t mean everything, just ask 2 time Academy Player of the Year Oli Bosworth, released last week. Still, it’s a great sign, and at this point I think we can all imagine the Foxes developing a talented young left back.
So what do we know about Shane? Born in Dublin, he was a relatively unfancied prospect, never featuring for Irish age group sides or garnering much transfer interest from English academies.
He originally signed for the Foxes after impressing on trial in 2017 and within a year was named in the Guardian’s Next Generation Talents, along with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Mason Greenwood.
Shane has a great attitude and absolutely loves his football. The feedback on him has been really positive; they seem to really see him as having the ability to stay with the senior group now, with his attacking ability and the distance he covers in games impressing the staff there - Will Clarke, director at Shane’s first club St. Joseph’s
Considered an attacking player by the club at the time, he’s since moved backwards, regularly playing as the kind of attacking fullback Brendan Rodgers likes to employ, but also filling in at CB.
That versatility is also something likely to ingratiate him with the current manager, and was surely part of the consideration when he was brought onto the bench for Europa League and Premier League matches this season.
Happy to have made the bench for the first time in the Premier League tonight a great comeback from the team too!!— Shane Flynn (@shaneacflynn) March 6, 2021
P.S. @SkySportsPL my name is Shane Flynn not Sean Flynn sound pic.twitter.com/gnwzHvnzIZ
In his age 19 season, he’s made the step up from the Academy side to the under 23s and handled it with aplomb. He played the full 90 minutes 21 times across the EFL Cup and PL2, with the side performing considerably better when he was on the pitch.
In March, Flynn was rewarded for his efforts with a new contract, although the length of the deal wasn’t announced, and has been called up to the Ireland U21 squad this summer.
“Pieces we can take from it to learn to go into future games.”— Leicester City (@LCFC) October 9, 2020
Catch more from Leicester City Development Squad midfielder Shane Flynn
The path to the first team is of course a little blocked at the moment, with James Justin and Luke Thomas already ahead, and another signing expected this summer.
That won’t necessarily hurt Flynn, who could probably use a loan move first. He has no career first team experience, although he did feature against 5 lower league sides in the EFL Cup, including a win over League One champions Hull City.
He certainly looks like he can hang at that level, and could push for a loan to a lower Championship side. Perhaps even Huddersfield, who have nurtured such Leicester City stars as Ben Chilwell, Andy King and Ben Hamer.