Zele Ismail was once famously tipped to become the first €100m player in football history, a bold prediction given that Ismail himself was just 15 years of age at the time.
Back then, both Chelsea and Manchester City were interested in securing the youngster’s signature, and both clubs were believed to have made bids in the region of £2.5M.
Fortunately for Wolves, and arguably Ismail, who could have easily seen his career stutter at a larger club, the offers were rejected, and Ismail continued to develop in the club’s academy.
Fast-forward two seasons and Ismail is still plying his trade in the Wolves academy, but is now a far more complete talent, and is once again receiving admiring glances from both Chelsea and City. The Serbian-born youngster will definitely now command a fee much larger than the original £2.5M offers, and could provide a welcome boost to the coffers in Wolverhampton.
That is not to say that Wolves and Mick McCarthy will sell their young star at all, with Ismail offering almost limitless potential. They are however faced with the challenging decision of how to satisfy the youngsters desire for first-team football, a dilemma for both of his prospective clubs also, as they are fairly well represented with strikers, having Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Steven Fletcher, Sam Vokes and Kevin Doyle all on their books.
Deploying Ismail on the wing has been suggested by some as a solution to this problem, and expect to see Ismail in the Premier League soon if Wolves are serious about keeping the talented forward at the club for the long-term.