Fulham track Eastleigh 17-year-old striker Sam Wilson

Fulham

Fulham have been given first refusal on Eastleigh's 17-year-old striker Sam Wilson, after he impressed the Cottagers at a recent one-week trial.

Eastleigh have confirmed they will not covet interest from any club for Wilson other than Fulham until the new year.

Wilson was a member of Portsmouth's academy before joining the Eastleigh youth set-up last season and has made one start in the current campaign.

"Fulham were very impressed with Sam," said an Eastleigh statement.

Wilson, who scored two goals in a 4-1 victory over Portsmouth while on a second trial at Fulham last week, is also interesting several other clubs.

He scored 10 goals in 19 appearances for the Eastleigh reserve team last season, and made his senior debut in the Hampshire Senior Cup tie with Havant & Waterlooville in January aged 16.

"Eastleigh have had a long conversation with Fulham in respect of Sam Wilson. They will continue to monitor his progress in the coming months," added the statement.

Eastleigh face Oxford City in the FA Cup third qualifying round this weekend and Wilson will be in the squad for Saturday's game.

"If he works hard and plays well then he has every chance of realising his dream of playing professional football," Spitfires manager Ian Baird told BBC Sport.

"Sam is a young, hungry, pacy striker who is not afraid to hassle and chase things down and loves scoring goals.

"The Blue Square Bet South is a very good standard of football and professional clubs would be fools not to come and have a look at our players.

"Sam has a got a good family around him, who give him good advise and he realises that the most important thing for him at the moment, is to try and get into the Eastleigh first team on a regular basis."

Fulham have got a good recent history of plucking young talent from non-league football after signing defender Chris Smalling from Maidstone United.

Smalling went on to sign for Manchester United and also made his England debut last month.

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