Curzon Ashton have announced the signing of Rachid Balde on loan from EFL Championship side Stoke City.

Born in Guinea-Bissau, the central midfielder moved to Portugal in 2010 and signed for SL Benfica two years later. After trials with Brentford and Watford, he signed a three-year professional contract with Stoke, where he is currently playing in the club’s U23s squad.

The eighteen-year-old was part of the Stoke U18s side which reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2017, losing out to eventual winners Manchester City, playing alongside Cameron McJannet and former loanee Jake Dunwoody.

Manager John Flanagan, on the loan signing of Balde, said: “We are very pleased to have been able to add Rachid to the group. I’d like to say thank you to Stoke City for allowing this loan to take place.

“He’s a talented, mobile midfielder who is very comfortable on the ball and I’m sure he’ll be a great addition to the squad.”


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