Millwall manager Neil Harris has spoken for the first time about Manchester City swooping for Samuel Edozie.
The 16-year-old striker also had interest from Chelsea but the reigning Premier League champions won the race for his signature.
The Lions are set to bank a seven-figure sum for the teenager if he makes the grade.
Harris said: “You bring through the young players in the academy, trying to show a path to our first team. Ultimately we want 11 players to all come through the Millwall academy but that is never going to happen. It’s never going to happen at any club.
“Premier League giants can come in and buy lads who are 14, 15 or 16 for millions of pounds. It is very hard to keep them – and it is another instance with Samuel.
“It is hard for the family not to want to go to Manchester City. So then it becomes about the club trying to secure the best deal it can for a talented young player. Big clubs now are trying to recruit even younger ages. They don’t want to miss out and feel they can develop them.
“It is the same as Darko [Gyabi], who went to Manchester City. You secure the best deals you can as a club to earn money and protect yourself in the future if they go on to do well. If they go on to make a first-team appearance then as a club we stand to make huge amounts of money.”
PICTURE BY BRIAN TONKS