Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Sunday October 12 2008
It had to happen sooner or later.
Word has finally got out.
The News Of The World has kindly informed anyone that didn't already know, that Wolves have been hiding a diamond.
And his name is Zele Ismail.
Former Academy boss Chris Evans knows a thing or two about spotting talent, so when he heaps praise on player, people tend to listen.
As they will be to these words.
"There is no limit to what he can achieve. He is easily the best player in the country for his age.
"If he continues his progress up to the age of 21 he will become priceless. People are talking about there being a £100m player one day. That`s understandable because the game is now in the hands, not just of millionaires, but billionaires.
"I wouldn`t want to put any pressure on the lad, but in years to come I can see enormous money being spent on Zele." He told the NotW.
Can we keep him? That depends on many things.
The lad, his family, and the the club that has surrounded him with cotton wool for five years for starters, their ongoing progress and development in the next few seasons being a key factor, as well as his.
If the red tops are to be believed, the Oligarchs and Sheiks are starting to circle, with bids of up to £2.5 million being quoted.
Which has to be put into perspective by looking at the sum Arsene Wenger invested in Theo Walcott when he was not much older at the time, at 16.
Wolves have gone to great lengths to keep Ismail under wraps, but having been oustanding at the presigious Milk cup youth tournament, and now representing England U 16s, not to mention attracting global headlines, there is little anyone can do to stop speculation.
Which caused CEO Jez Moxey to issue a hands off as recently as last month.
At the moment, all we are talking about is potential, and there are as many next big things fail to make it, if not more, than actually do.
There is also now bound to be a rank and file clamour to see the lad in the first team, which in our opinion would be a huge mistake to make, and one Mick McCarthy would be well advised against.
15 year old's are simply not yet physically, let alone mentally equipped to deal with the rigours of the professional game.
The Wayne Rooney's of this world are an exception, rather than a norm.
More prevalent are the injury ravaged, the oft sidelined, the world class when they're fit, something that benefits no one, least of all the player.
The reality is, if Ismail is that good he will eventually move.
Just when that eventually is, sooner, or hopefully later is the big question at the moment.
Date:Sunday October 12 2008
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