Liverpool could snap up Celtic wonder-Bhoy Islam Feruz
A Decade ago it seemed unlikely that the future of Scottish football lay in the hands of a five-year-old Somali.
And yet, 10 years on, Islam Feruz has already become the youngest ever player to represent Scotland under-17s and is set to make his senior Celtic debut next season.
But how long can the Glasgow club hold firm to their young protégé? Concern was recently raised when it was reported Manchester City had spoken to the teenager.
Barely 10 years old, Islam was spotted by Celtic scout John Simpson playing at Castlemilk Sports Centre and was soon signed up to the Hoops.
This led to the late Tommy Burns going through the courts to ensure young Islam’s asylum-seeking family weren’t deported back to Somalia. A case which they won.
“Islam was so shocked when Tommy died. Our whole family will always owe him a huge debt,” said Feruz’s mother Aisha last year.
Fast-forward to 2009 and Feruz became the first asylum-seeker to play for Scotland under FIFA’s new five-year education rule when he made his debut for the u17s.
“I have been very proud to live in Scotland. It’s a great country which is now my home and I will be proud to wear the Scotland jersey,” said Islam after he was included in the Scottish squad for the UEFA u17 European Championship qualifying round.
However, the teenager’s future club career could well take him out of his adopted country very soon.
Reports suggest the 15-year-old has been eyed up by Liverpool, Kenny Daglish has watched the youngster and keen to add him to his young emerging squad whilst keeping the history of Celtic and Liverpool legacy alive.
The wonder-Bhoy is currently on contract at Parkhead until summer 2015 and the Glasgow side are said to be seething at the alleged poach talks by City.
Whether Islam commits his long-term future to Celtic or not remains to be seen but, on current form, Neil Lennon’s side would receive a lucrative price for their teenage star from any potential buyers.