Monday, May 05, 2008
Greek wonderkid completes trial with Arsenal scoring two goals in Italian tournament
Arsene Wenger’s appetite for young starlets plucked from all over the world never ceases to amaze.
This time his scouting network has span its web much closer at home, in Europe and the Greek league. This is where Nikos Karelis, a 16 year old who last week became the youngest player to kick a ball in this part of the world has been spotted.
His parents received a phone call out of the blue last Tuesday from the President of his Cretan Club Ergorelis who duly informed them that Arsenal were interested to take him on a week’s trial.
They couldn’t say no so young Nikos packed his bags and off he went with everyone’s wishes for the best.
“ I am very happy and I will certainly try my best….I am not afraid” he said in a quick interview he gave to a Greek sports newspaper before departing.
Apparently he made an impression during his recent call up with the Greece Youth team and he is highly rated by his fellow players:
“He is bound to become a great player. He is strong for his age, quick and can kick a ball. He has courage and initiative in his play” they say.
He joined Arsenal’s under 16s and traveled with them to Italy to take part in a youth tournament. He is expected back to Crete today, Monday.
“It was a tremendous experience for me playing at such a high level of football and with some footballers who will be the stars of the future” he said to Sport 24 after the end of his trial. He didn’t meet Mr Wenger but he did get to meet Jens Lehmann!
“I haven’t been told anything about the outcome of my trial but Arsenal will speak to my parents and my club about it soon".
He scored two goals during the Atalanta Cup Tournament and has left very good impressions after helping Arsenal win the Cup beating Juventus in the final on penalties.
Nikos is a left footed midfielder but can also play through the middle.