French giants Stade de Reims have unveiled the signing of 16-year-old promising Republic of Ireland underage international Glory Nzingo from St Patrick’s Athletic.
Nzingo had been heavily linked with a move to Rennes just a few days ago according to the Irish Examiner. But he has since joined Reims who finished 14th in Ligue 1 last season.
He joined St Patrick's Athletic from Cherry Orchard, and made his senior debut in a 4-0 friendly defeat against Premier League side Chelsea.
👏 Yesterday, 14 year old Glory Nzingo made his first team debut off the bench at a sold out Richmond Park against Chelsea. Today, he scored along with Tommy Lonergan (3) & Harvey Nugent to help our U15s beat Bray Wanderers 5-2 #SaintsAcademy 🔴⚪️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/v8hQTnS5ub
— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) July 14, 2019
That debut was made when he was aged 14-years-old in Frank Lampard’s second game managing the Blues.
Nzingo has since gone on to win the Republic of Ireland under-15 Player of the Year award, and has also played for the Boys in Green at Under-17 level.
The forward is set to join forces with Reims academy setup ahead of the start of the 2021-22 season. He will join their under-18.
In a statement released by Reims, the French side said that the now former Saint ‘is one of the bets Irish talents of his generation’.
Academy midfielder Glory Nzingo (16) has signed for French club Stade de Reims
Glory joined us in January 2019, winning an U15 league & cup double in his first season, he was also part of our U19 league winning squad last year
We'd like to wish him the best of luck#StPatsFC
— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) July 9, 2021
The St Patrick's Athletic youngster's arrival in France signals a change in Irish football with the previous route of joining clubs in the UK at 16 and/or 17 now blocked with the UK leaving the EU.
FIFA Regulations prohibit the transfer of minors except in specific circumstances. Article 19.2b of the FIFA RTSP permits the movement of players between the ages of 16-18 within the EU.
The only change made by FIFA as a result of Brexit was an update to 19.2b. This allows for the movement of players between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
This leaves Irish players forced to look elsewhere if they are in search of moves abroad.
Nzingo is not the only young Irish player to look elsewhere for a move abroad. Shamrock Rovers youngster Kevin Zefi also being heavily linked with a move to join Italian giants Inter Milan.