FORMER Super Eagle Jero Shakpore’s teenage son Ruben has signed a scholarship deal with English Premier league side Aston Villa ending a five year relationship with Norwich City after coming through their academy.
Ruben, who has represented England at Under-15 level, has been handed the number nine jersey at Villa and is now aiming to break into the main team once he hits 18. He had attracted the attention of several clubs at home and abroad but opted to move to the Midlands and Villa are delighted with the signing.
Mark Harrison, the Aston Villa academy manager said: “We’re delighted to announce Ruben’s signing and welcome him to the club. He has joined us after a lot of hard work was put in during our recruitment process and I thank everyone for their efforts. We’re looking forward to working with Ruben and developing his talents.”
Jero Shakpoke played professionally for Reggiana, Bologna, Nice, Varese and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise among others before hanging up his boots. Back in 1998, Jero was earmarked by ex-Nigeria coach Bora Milutinović to be the Super Eagles first choice right-back at the World Cup, only for him to suffer a career threatening injury in a pre-tournament friendly against the Netherlands eight days before Nigeria’s opener.
Ruben said: “Proud moment for me and my family to have signed a contract with Aston Villa. The hard work only continues, I am excited to see what the future holds with this amazing club and can only thank God for this opportunity and pray to achieve great things here.”