Date: 23rd June 2018 at 7:00am
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Yesterday evening Belgium side OH Leuven claimed to have completed the signing of Sheffield Wednesday youngster George Hirst but most fans accept he’s just signed for Leicester City.

There’s no reason to disbelieve their claim even if there has been no straight confirmation from the club themselves at the time I’m writing this. Confirmation from the Belgian side is enough.

All Owls fans know Hirst has thrown his toys and wanted out for a while.

The 19-year-old England youth international is said to have signed a five-year deal with his new side and that follows his refusal to sign a contract extension with us that ultimately led him to being frozen out of the squad at Hillsborough last season. He is obviously out of contract this summer and will officially become theirs on July 1.

There is slightly more to this move than meets the eye though. It was suggested that Leicester City were willing suitors but had he moved to them, if a fee couldn’t have been agreed it would’ve gone to a tribunal and with his clear talent and potential, chances are the tribunal would’ve been financially suitable to us.

Moving abroad I believe his new club only have to pay a nominal fee now – if they even have to pay a fee for training compensation which I don’t think they do. But that’s only the first blow.

OH Leuven, a Belgian second division side, are managed by former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson. Whilst there isn’t a strict ‘sister club’ or ‘linked’ arrangement to my knowledge in terms of their operation, players have switched between them I believe. They are curiously owned by Leicester’s owners and fall under the King Power brand which is worth thinking about.

It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination, ‘sister club’ arrangement or not, to see what’s happened does it.

It’s worth noting those are the ones I can print, you need a stronger constitution for some of the others that I saw.