Harry Redknapp and Spurs To Swoop For African Wondekid Emmanuel Mbola
Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur seem to have fought off the challenge from some of Europe's biggest clubs to sign 16-year-old Emmanuel Mbola for £1million from Armenian Premier League Champions, Pyunik Yerevan.
The youngster moved to Armenia from Zambia team Mining Rangers when he was only 15. He was instrumental in Pyunik, the second biggest team in Armenia, winning the league title last season, where he played over 30 games at left full for the champions, before representing the side in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League.
That incredible form and run of games saw him become the youngest Zambian ever to be capped, and since then he has clocked up an incredible 20 international caps for theChipolopolo .
Scouts from all over Europe began watching Mbola after he unexpectedly broke into Pyunik's first team last year and when Zambia qualified for the African Cup of Nations. It provided them with a perfect opportunity to see the youth in action in a respected environment.
He did not disappoint. Mbola was one of eight players to have played in every minute of all four games, including a 5-4 penalty defeat to Nigeria in the Quarter Finals after the game had finished 0-0 after extra time. In that game, Mbola set the record as the youngest player ever to appear in the last eight. He was also one of the best players on show in the unlucky loss.
Tottenham had begun tracking the powerfully built full back last year after their European scouts picked Mbola out as a player with a bright future in the game. In his short time in football, Mbola has built himself a reputation as a marauding, attacking full back. He has also played as a left sided midfielder for his club.
Back home in Zambia, he has been hailed as the player to lead them to the next World Cup, and to be playing in one of the world's top leagues within five years.
At the moment Tottenham are in the driving seat but Pyunik still hold Mbola's registration, even though it is illegal under FIFA rules to sign a player under 18, the youngster was only 15 when the Armenian outfit snapped him up.
If he signs for Spurs, that prediction is right on schedule.
Amazingly, he already qualifies for a work permit, due to his 20 caps at international level. Tottenham are expected to let Mbola go out on loan for one more season, possibly back to Pyunik in a similar type deal that saw Kyle Walker go back to Sheffield United after being signed from that very team last summer.
Either way it would seem at this early stage that Spurs have pulled off a real coup by bringing Mbola to White Hart Lane and fans of the club will be hoping that he lives up to the incredible potential he possesses.