Derby County Under-18s’ attacking midfielder Cruz Allen has signed his first professional contract.

Allen, who turned 17 last month, has put pen-to-paper on a deal which will run until the summer of 2026.

The Welsh youth international has been part of Derby’s Academy set-up for several years, after initially joining at Under-10s level, and progressed right through the ranks.

He has impressed for Danny Maye’s Under-18s this term by picking up a healthy return of five goals and five assists from 12 Premier League - North appearances.

Allen has featured for Jake Buxton’s Under-21s in Premier League 2 over the course of the current campaign, scoring three times in six outings, and gained match experience in both the Central League and the Derbyshire Senior Cup.

He also enjoyed a brief taste of first team football by coming off the bench for Paul Warne’s side in the latter stages of their Bristol Street Motors Trophy group stage victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers Under-21s back in November.

Academy Manager Matt Hale said: “Cruz has done really well in the Under-21s and also the Under-18s this year and we are keen to recognise players that have come through our pathway here at Derby County.

“He has a lot of talent and this is fully deserved; we wish him well.”

Allen is the third player from the Under-18s to sign professional terms this season, following in the footsteps of striker Dajaune Brown and goalkeeper Jack Thompson.