Walsall have today confirmed the signing of winger Zeli Ismail on a one year deal with a second year in the clubs favour.
Amongst many of the Saddlers fans, Ismail was seen as our number one signing this summer and Dean Keates has finally got his man! Zeli enjoyed a loan spell here last season and went onto play sixteen times for the Saddlers scoring one goal.
Ismail first grabbed the headlines six years ago when both Chelsea and Manchester City offered Wolves £2.5m for the then 14-year-old product of their Academy, which was turned down by the Midlands club. And Chris Evans – who was Wolves’ Academy director at the time – tipped Ismail for the very top.
“It was clear very early on that Zeli was a special player with talent way beyond his years. “If he continues his progress up to the age of 21 he will become priceless. People are talking about there being a £100 million player one day. “I wouldn’t want to put any pressure on the lad, but in years to come I can see enormous money being spent on him.”
Until now Ismail has had an inconsistent career which saw his then parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers send him out on loan to MK Dons, Notts County, Burton Albion, Oxford United and Cambridge United. Following his release from Wolves he was snapped up by Bury but again suffered an inconsistent spell with the Shakers which saw him join us on loan. Following the Shakers relegation to League 2, Ismail was released on a free transfer.
Should we be able to finally get the consistency out of Ismail then we will have a superb addition to the squad and with him still only twenty-four he is definitely someone the club can look to get money from if they wish.
Ismail is a gifted player with blistering pace who can play on either wing will be the perfect winger to supply crosses for Andy Cook next season.
Everyone at Vital Walsall welcomes Zeli back to the club.