SOUTHEND United have signed promising centre-back Richard Taylor following his release from Burnley.

The 18-year-old was released by the Clarets after the second year of his scholarship.

But the youngster has now signed a professional deal with the Shrimpers after impressing the club’s head of academy Ricky Duncan while on trial.

“Richard came in on trial and he’s different to what we have coming through so we’ve signed him now,” said Duncan.

“This is similar to what we’ve done with Michael Klass and Isaac Hutchinson in the past and Richard has got the chance after he did well on trial.

“He played well for the under-18s and the under-23s during that time and is a left sided centre-back with good height.

“He’s also very athletic and his attitude has been first class since he’s been here.”

Taylor also spent time on loan with Colne last season.