Ryan Astley has admitted that Liverpool defender Owen Beck convinced him to quit Everton and join Dundee.
Dundee recently announced the signing of the 22-year-old defender on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Everton (Dundee Official Website, 18 January).
Astley leaves Goodison Park after coming through the ranks at the club and has admitted (via Daily Record, 19 January) that his Wales Under-21 teammate and Liverpool man Beck convinced him to make the move after experiencing success with the Dark Blues himself at the start of the season.
Astley explained, “I know Owen as we have the same agent, so I spoke with him a few days ago. He was full of praise for the club, the staff, the players, and everything about it and that sealed it for me, I knew I wanted to sign for Dundee.
“I can’t wait to train with my new team-mates and to play in front of the Dundee supporters.”
Everton supporters’ disdain for Liverpool has probably gone up a few levels after reading this news.
It is not every day that a player from a rival club convinces their counterpart to quit his current side, but that seems to have been the case here, and it appears as if Beck’s influence played quite a big role in Astley’s decision.
However, rivalry aside, the move is probably for the best from Astley’s point of view. He will be turning 23 this year and was yet to make his debut for the club at senior level, despite playing more than 100 times in the youth ranks.
Following a loan spell with EFL League One side Accrington Stanley last season where he featured heavily, playing more than 2,000 minutes across the season, Astley still wasn’t able to get a look in under Sean Dyche this season.
As a result, he was probably desperate to move on in search of first-team football, and for Everton, they currently have bigger worries on their plate.