Arsenal sign FOUR-YEAR OLD dubbed ‘little Messi’ who is still in nursery

Arsenal have a FOUR-YEAR OLD on their books, who is still at nursery, dubbed ‘little Messi’ and has thousands watching his skill videos on Instagram, after he was scouted while playing with kids twice his age

  • Arsenal have signed a four-year-old Instagram sensation to their pre-Academy 
  • Zayn Ali Salman became the club’s youngest ever signing aged just four 
  • The youngster’s incredible skill and balance has seen him dubbed ‘little Messi’ 

Arsenal have demonstrated that it is never too early to spot future talent after the Gunners put a four-year-old Instagram sensation dubbed ‘little Messi’ on their books.

Zayn Ali Salman, now five-years-old, has made history in becoming the youngest ever recruit at Arsenal after signing up for the Premier League side’s pre-Academy aged just four.

Videos of Salman, who says his favourite team is Arsenal, producing his dazzling skills on the pitch have racked up thousands of views on Instagram, with the youngster’s balance and skill earning him comparisons to Lionel Messi.

His old coach, Austin Schofield, told BBC News: ‘We put him with kids of his age, but he was better than all of then. He was quicker and he could score and pass much better than the others.

‘I spoke with his Dad to suggest playing up, and he said “why not?”‘

Arsenal have a four-year-old Instagram sensation (left) on the club’s pre-Academy books

Zayn Ali Salman has been dubbed the ‘little Messi’ due to his phenomenal skills and balance

Salman had no problem mixing it with his bigger opponents and his father believes that his son will be able to handle the move to a Premier League club well as he is ‘different’ from other children.

‘I remember the day he was born. The nurse put him on his front and he lifted his head up to look around.

‘Even she was surprised. He’s always been strong from a young age.  He has had incredible balance since he was very small. That’s carried on.

‘Arsenal aren’t bothered about his age, they just think he has a lot of potential.’

Salman's father (right) says that his son has always been 'different' from other children his age

Salman’s father (right) says that his son has always been ‘different’ from other children his age

Little Zayn pictured with his father

He was allowed to move up and play with older children

Salman left hospital nurses astounded by his strength when he was just a small baby

Salman has been pictured with Arsenal’s Academy Manager Per Mertesacker, and Arsenal scout Stephen Deans says that he has taken the move in his stride. 

‘He was doing things you shouldn’t be doing at that age,’ Deans said.

‘When I saw him, I called a friend who confirmed he was four. I couldn’t believe that he is still in nursery.

‘Then I spoke to his parents and brought him to a few sessions. He is no fluke.’

The five-year-old plays with kids twice his age and Arsenal have signed the youngster

Sportsmail understands Salman is training with Arsenal but he is not officially signed as he is too young.

‘At his current age, Zayn is not part of the official Arsenal Academy. He is currently enjoying football sessions at the West London Development Centre, one of the development centres that we run across London, providing local and fun football sessions for Under-6 to Under-8 year olds. The youngest age group at the Arsenal Hale End Academy is the Under-9 age group.

‘Our mission to be the most caring and challenging football academy is reflected in the way in which we develop our young people. The priority is to ensure that any child or young person attending the development centres or our Hale End Academy enjoys their football, with a focus on their all-round development and wellbeing.’


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