Wycombe Wanderers 19-year-old winger Matt Phillips has sealed his move to Premier League Blackpool following a weekend of speculation.
The Aylesbury born youngster has been pursued by a whole clutch of higher league clubs over the summer and it is Tangerine’s boss Ian Holloway that has captured Phillips who has signed a three-year deal at Bloomfield Road.
The two clubs have agreed a fee of £325,000 which will be paid up front and more could follow if certain criteria are fulfilled. Wycombe would receive a further unspecified amount if Blackpool retain their Premier League status at the end of the current 2010/11 season.
The Blues will also receive another unspecified amount if Blackpool are relegated at the end of this season but return to the Premier League by 2015.
In addition to those add-ons, if Blackpool sell Phillips to another club then the Wanderers will receive further monies from what is described as ‘a generous sell on clause.’
Wycombe Wanderers manager Gary Waddock commented: ‘It’s a great opportunity for Matty to play in the Premier League and we couldn’t stand in his way. I’m sorry to lose him, but it’s a great move for him and excellent business for the football club.’
Owner Steve Hayes explained: ‘We offered him a new, long term contract several months ago but he was reluctant to commit himself and once Blackpool came in he wanted to go. Matt has been a model professional in his time with us and I have nothing but good things to say about him and his family. I wish him well.’
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway said: “Matty has been on our radar for some time, he did well in the European Under-19 tournament for England in the summer and has played almost 80 league games for Wycombe, which at 19 is a real achievement.”
Matt has been at Adams Park since he was 8 years of age after being spotted playing in a tournament in 1999. He has progressed through the clubs’ Centre of Excellence and youth teams and was given his first team debut in April 2008 by Paul Lambert. He has made 87 appearances in all competitions, starting 45 matches and has scored 9 goals for the Blues.
His stock rose with spectacular goals against Bristol Rovers and Gillingham last season and he was selected for the England U19’s European Championship squad by manager Noel Blake in July. He scored the “three lions” crucial equaliser in their 1-1 draw with France to send his country through to the knock-out stages and attract the attention of bigger clubs.
Vital Wycombe would like to extend our congratulations to Matty Phillips on his move and wish him the greatest of luck.