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Cup hero Nahki not ready for big time ... just yet

Opposition leader Marc Bean may know plenty about politics but clearly knows little about football.

As Bermuda wallowed rightly so in the success of Nahki Wells and his Bradford City team-mates this week, Bean left himself open to ridicule by proclaiming the Bermudian star was ready to take his place in the English Premier League, arguably the best league in the world.

Despite his outstanding achievements, the former Dandy Town star is anything but ready to rub shoulders with the game’s big boys.

Shaun Goater and Kyle Lightbourne have said as much, and no doubt Clyde Best would concur.

Wells has enormous potential and there’s no reason he won’t reach the lofty heights that Bean talks about but it could be several seasons away.

Goater, Lightbourne and Best all rose to the top in English football but it didn’t come easy.

Goater and Lightbourne had to serve their apprenticeships in the lower leagues, and once they did make it to the top flight the competition for places was, at some times, depressing.

That’s exactly why Wells needs to stay perhaps another season with Bradford City, or if he’s tempted to leave, set his sights on a Championship (second tier) club who have ambitions to move up to Premier League.

And even then he may find it difficult to guarantee a first team place every weekend.

As Goater notes, he was 28-years-old before he finally got chance to play among the world’s best, having shone as Manchester City’s golden boy, playing a huge role in their promotion.

Much the same applied to Lightbourne, who was worshipped at Walsall where his goalscoring exploits earned him the nickname ‘Killer’.

His performances at the Midlands club, where his name was almost always the first on the team-seem, resulted in a transfer to Coventry City, at that time in the Premiership.

It might have been a move he would later regret.

Much of his time was spent on the bench or in the reserves.

There are current day so-called superstars who find themselves in the same position.

Fernando Torres is no longer an automatic pick at Chelsea following the signature of Demba Ba and there are several in the same squad who might walk into other teams but remain fringe players at the London club.

Manchester City and Manchester United have such strength in their squads they have enough top class players to make up a second-string side capable of beating any team in the league.

That’s why Bean’s opinion that Wells is ready to join a club such as Arsenal is utter nonsense.

Signing for one of the top clubs even if they considered him worthy of a place in the squad would do far more harm than good.

At the moment he’s enjoying being part of the game’s history, helping to take his team to the hallowed turf of Wembley.

When he gets there next month he’ll be able to showcase his skills to the rest of the world and should he impress against another Premier League club, Swansea City, as he has against Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa, he’ll no doubt catch the attention of coaches around the country.

But even then if offers are forthcoming, he will need to consider a move to a club where he’ll get plenty of time on the field and not too much on the bench.

With his ability, he has every chance of making the big time, but it could be a couple more years, at least, before he gets chance to play alongside the likes of Rooney, Van Persie and Suarez.

Bermuda will be following his progress week in, week out.

But at the moment the last thing he needs is added pressure.

If those in Bermuda, particularly the politicians, want to help him along the way, they’ll let his career take its intended course.

ADRIAN ROBSON

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Published January 25, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm)

Cup hero Nahki not ready for big time ... just yet

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