In early July, Che Adams achieved his dream of signing for a Premier League team. Southampton added the speedy forward paying £15 million to Birmingham City to land him.
Adams’ signing came after a 22-goal season for Birmingham City in the Championship. Success to years for Adams to achieve and it was only in his third season at St. Andrew’s that he scored double-digit goals in all competitions.
The forward’s life to the top has been quick after starting in non-league football.
Che Adams starting at Ilkeston
Adams started his career properly at Ilkeston’s academy. He joined in 2013 after previously playing in Coventry City’s youth system. Adams quickly made a name for himself at the non-league club attracting scouts from all over England’s Football League.
Although Adams’ goal production wasn’t amazing at the non-league level, his young age gave him an incredibly high ceiling of potential. Due to the development, he could make, clubs lined up to sign him.
After joining Sheffield United in 2014, Adams spent two seasons at Bramall Lane. His second season at the club resulted in 12 goals in 41 matches in all competitions. Adams’ two-year spell at Sheffield United enabled him to grow as a player despite still being a teenager.
Adams 11 goals in League One influenced Birmingham City to pay £2m for his services.
Che Adams growing at Birmingham City
Adams scored goals at Birmingham City, but his first two seasons reflected a Championship quality player. It is easy to forget Adams was just 20-years old and still had plenty of growth to make.
His goal production in 2018-19 was partly due to the management of Garry Monk, who spent his first full season at St. Andrew’s last term. Adams’ 22 goals made him the first Birmingham City player to score more than 20 goals in a single season in over two decades.
Adams’ finishing was impressive and it was magnified by his 18.22 expected goals and 22 actual goals. The striker’s play led to his move to Southampton with the club’s manager Ralph Hassenhuttl stating Adams is “just what they needed”.
Che Adams’ progression from non-league to League One to the Championship to the Premier League shows just how players can develop. It also shows that hard work pays off for talented, driven players.