Predicting the trajectory of a teenage footballer is not easy.
It’s almost impossible to say whether they will go on to become a world-class star – or whether they’ll fall by the wayside.
For every Wayne Rooney – who went on to fulfil the talent he showed at the age of 16 – there’s a Freddy Adu who doesn’t become anywhere near the player he was touted to become.
That’s why having talented scouts can be very profitable indeed for football clubs.
Just look at Southampton. They’ve picked up numerous players for relatively cheap and sold them on to Liverpool for big profit.
With the transfer market currently out of control, picking up youngsters set for stardom for next to nothing is surely an avenue that clubs will look to more and more.
It’s something the clubs have tried in the past but, like we say, not every player is guaranteed to fulfil their potential.
And there was one signing Liverpool made back in 2009 is the perfect example of just that.
THE STORY OF DAVE MOLI
The starlet was signed by Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool from Luton for an undisclosed fee after being scouted by none other than club legend Kenny Dalglish.
Moli was just 14 and was being tracked by a host of Premier League clubs – with one unnamed club making an illegal approach for him.
But Liverpool won the race and they thought they had signed a player that would be making his first-team debut in just a few years time.
It didn’t quite work out like that, though.
Since that day in 2009, Moli’s career has been on a downward spiral.
Three years later, he had joined Wolves and represented their Under-18 side. But after failing to impress, he had chances at non-league sides Boreham Wood and Hayes & Yeading.
He then made the sensational move to New Radiant Sports Club in the Maldives – not a bad place to play football!
But Moli didn’t spend long in paradise and joined French third-tier side SAS Epinal. Next was a move to Poland to join Stomil Olsztyn.
But he’s since returned to England and joined Welling in 2017 before, in the summer, moving to Coventry United. No, that’s not Coventry City but Coventry United.
And now, he finds himself at Bedford Town in the Southern League Division One East in the eighth tier of English football.
In fairness, you have to credit Moli for still having the passion to continue playing football. When he signed for Liverpool, he might have had dreams of being a first-team regular at Liverpool nine years later.
But at the age of 23, he’s playing seven divisions below the Reds at Bedford Town.