Tristan Abrahams determined to make the most of ‘great opportunity’ signing for Norwich City from Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 19:41 31 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:28 01 August 2017
Norwich City FC
Norwich City have completed the signing of striker Tristan Abrahams and immediately allowed the youngster to go back on loan to National League side Leyton Orient.
The 18-year-old striker had been linked with the Canaries last week and the deal has now been concluded, with Abrahams heading back to Orient on loan for the season in a deal which will allow him to feature for City’s under-23s as well.
Abrahams scored two goals in nine games during the closing stages of last season, as the O’s slipped to relegation from League Two and ended a 112-year stretch in the Football League for the east London club.
It’s understood Orient were looking for a deal which could eventually be worth around £250,000 if performance related add-ons are triggered.
Abrahams is primarily an addition to the Canaries’ U23 squad, which is currently short of strikers with Carlton Morris joining Shrewsbury on a season-long loan and Benny Ashley-Seal looking likely to leave.
Former Club Brugge forward Pierre Fonkeu has also reportedly agreed a deal with City, after a successful development trial during pre-season, but that has not yet been confirmed.
London-born Abrahams signed a two-year professional deal in November last year after impressing for Orient’s U18s, helping to reach the third round of the FA Youth Cup last season.
A brief spell with Southern Premier Division side Cambridge City followed, making four appearances, before making his League Two debut for Orient in a 4-0 win at Newport County in March.
He had been with the O’s since the age of 14 and was also recently linked with Premier League duo Crystal Palace and Brighton.
“I’m absolutely buzzing to come to a club I’ve admired for a long time,” Abrahams told Norwich’s official website. “It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m so happy to have signed. I was told a few clubs were interested but when I heard Norwich were also interested I knew that was the one to come to straight away.
“Heading back to Orient works well for me because I want to play as much first-team football as I can to really improve my game for when I come back to Norwich.”
Matt Gill, City’s U23s manager, said: “Tristan had a very good end to last season, coming back from his loan and making his senior debut at Orient in difficult circumstances. That was fantastic for the young lad, and he’s hit the ground running in first-team football.
“We want our boys playing senior football, so this deal works really well for us – he plays senior football and also integrates with the lads here too. He’s very athletic and everyone you speak to about him will tell you what a great attitude he has.”
City’s head of academy, Richard Money, added: “He’s played League Two football and is still young. He’s a big, strong centre-forward and one we think we can develop. The fact he’s already at a good club and that they want to take him back on loan is a good deal for everybody.”
Speaking to Orient’s website, Abrahams said: “Signing for Norwich is a great opportunity and what I believe to be the right move for my career.
“Orient is a club that I will always hold close to my heart and I am extremely grateful for the help and support I have been given from such a young age.
“I was handed a fantastic chance last season in difficult circumstances, but the fans were so supportive during that time and I would like to thank them for that.
“I am pleased to be staying here on loan, and while I continue to wear the shirt I will give everything I have got to this football club.”
Orient also sold midfielder Steven Alzate to Brighton yesterday and director of football Martin Ling believes the moves were in the best interests of both players.
“We know that some supporters will be disappointed to learn that we have made the decision to accept these offers, though as a club we must balance the need to create a well-balanced team, the opportunities for these young players and the financial opportunity for ourselves,” Ling said.
“In accepting these offers, we have allowed both Steven and Tristan to continue to reach their potential, as well as protecting the club’s position in the event of the players going on to enjoy future success in their respective careers. These deals are life-changing opportunities for both players and we are proud to have helped develop them to this point.
“When the club was purchased just over a month ago, we found ourselves with a squad consisting of very young players who we are extremely proud to have seen progress through our academy. Over recent weeks, we have worked tirelessly to add to that squad and created a balance with the signings made, by bringing in players with a wealth of experience, energy, promise and balance.”