We are pleased to announce the signing of young goalkeeper Charlie Horton from Cardiff City on a two-year deal.
The highly-rated shot-stopper, a USA Under-23s international, becomes Uwe Rosler’s first signing of the summer and arrives at Elland Road with a burgeoning reputation in the game.
The initial plan for Charlie, who Rosler describes as “a future number one”, is to gain regular playing time for the club’s Under-21s while also providing competition for the first team, who he will train with throughout the week.
Horton, 20, was born in London but moved to America at the age of nine and went on to gain a soccer scholarship at North Carolina University, which he turned down in favour of a move to English football.
Having been brought across to England on the recommendation of former Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel, the youngster joined Peterborough United on a three-year deal back in 2013.
He spent a year at London Road before moving up a division to sign for Championship rivals Cardiff City last July, joining the club’s U21s set-up and providing back-up to the senior goalkeepers within the squad.
Charlie spent last season working closely with goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis, who Rosler says had a big influence in United’s first move of the summer window.
“We had Charlie on our radar through our goalkeeping coach Richard Hartis – he had worked with him at Cardiff,” said Rosler.
“I know the manager and assistant manager of the USA team and they gave him a glowing reference. We’re very happy with him.
“He has fantastic physical attributes and is a really positive character. He really wants to learn.
“He worked with Richard Hartis at Cardiff and we appreciate the fact that we can work with him again – that was a big factor in him coming to join us.”
Charlie, who is fresh from international duty with the USA U23s, said: “I’m really excited.
“Any time you can come to a club like Leeds, where all the players are hungry for success and hungry to move up the table and back to where the club belongs in the Premier League, that’s every players dream.
“To be a part of that is something I’d love to have on my resume.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things about Leeds United as a club.
“I used to grow up when I was young living in England watching Mark Viduka and those kind of players play back then in the Premier League.
“The stadium is unbelievable, the training ground is unbelievable. The facilities here are first class. Now it’s our job as players to get the club back to where it belongs.”
Although Horton has been earmarked to feature in the U21s, Rosler is confident that the 20-year-old will give first-choice keeper Marco Silvestri a real challenge for the number one shirt.
“He is one who will push every single day to get better,” said the head coach. “He will push the guys in front of him and he will get playing time in the Under-21s.
“I’m looking forward to working with such a positive character like Charlie. He will train everyday with the first team and Richard.
“He has very good potential and will be a future number one. He will travel with us for pre-season – he’s a first-team player playing in the Under-21s.
“He has tremendous potential. Richard knows him very well and we need that sort of positive character to be the best that we can be every day in training.
“That is what I am looking for, to create an environment where you really push for your place and an environment of excellence where you push yourself to get better every day.”