Belfast Telegraph

Eleven-year-old 'Irish Messi' set to join Liverpool

A range of top European clubs are said to be interested in signing Irish-born Zak Gilsenan but he has reportedly opted for Merseyside

By Ger Keville

An 11-year-old Irish kid, dubbed the 'Next Lionel Messi', is set to join Liverpool.

A host of top clubs around Europe are said to be interested in signing Irish-born Zak Gilsenan and according to today's Star, he has opted for Merseyside after his family decided to move to England.

Gilsenan is originally from Castleknock but moved to Australia due to the work commitments of his father.

He hit the headlines when he was just nine years of age when he bagged seven goals in a trial game, a feat that earned him a two-year stay at Barcelona in the same academy that produced a certain Lionel Messi.

At that time, Zak's father Stephen said: "We were living in Australia when Zak was spotted by Spurs, who were running football camps over there. We came home with the intention of letting Zak go to Spurs, but in the meantime we had a call from Barcelona.

"One of their former players saw him playing in Oz and recommended him.

"They offered Zak a trial in May and it was a great experience. It consisted of over 400 boys from all over the world. He was asked back in June when it was cut down to 90.

"Then in a match between the top 16 players, Zak just ran riot and scored seven goals.

"He was phenomenal.

"Then we heard back two weeks ago and they offered him a spot."

Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, as well as a host of European clubs, are reportedly interested in signing the Dubliner but it now looks like it's Liverpool who have won the race to recruit Ireland's hottest young prospect.


Source: Irish Independent

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph