Why new Manchester City signing Kwadwo Baah is a Crystal Palace cult hero

Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign young Rochdale forward Kwadwo Baah at the end of the season, but despite his tender age his is already a familiar name to Crystal Palace supporters.

Baah has impressed for the Dale this season, scoring three times in League One despite only very recently turning 18.

His performances have attracted attention from north of the border, with Rangers sniffing around, but it is Premier League giants Man City who have won the race for his signature.

Baah will make the switch to the Etihad Stadium at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, upon the expiry of his contract at the Crown Oil Arena.

According to The Guardian, Baah has signed a pre-contract agreement that will see Rochdale receive a fee upon his departure, with the youngster likely to join a Championship club on loan next season.

But what is the Palace connection?

Baah has impressed this season | James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Well, Baah is a former Eagles academy player - but that's not the reason he is popular among their fanbase; his first moment in the limelight came in Palace's home game against West Ham in October 2016, where Baah was a ballboy.

With Palace 1-0 down, the then-13-year-old lad picked up on the time-wasting of Hammers goalkeeper Adrian and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Grabbing the ball after it had gone out for a goal kick, Baah ran onto the pitch and placed the ball down on the edge of the six-yard box for the Spanish stopper in a bid to speed up the process. Unfortunately, this act of valour was to no avail as West Ham held on for the win.

"I saw the players getting really angry that the keeper was taking really long," he said in an interview with Crystal Palace's social media team at the time. "The crowd started booing the keeper, so I got really angry as well..."

In response to whether he enjoyed getting a cheer from the Selhurst Park faithful, he replied: "It's like...being on the pitch when you are really famous and everyone starts cheering you, it's quite a good feeling."

It seems he was made for the big stage.

Baah was actually released by the Palace academy aged 14, but earned a scholarship at Rochdale in 2019 with the help of south London's Kinetic Academy.

Now he finds himself on the way to one of England's biggest clubs.

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Source : 90min