The 'priceless' starlet who made his debut at Stamford Bridge last night

Chelsea may have thrashed Wolves 6-0 in the League Cup at Stamford Bridge last night, but it was the away side who gave a debut to a teenage player once described as 'priceless' by his former coach.

Zele Ismail. Remember the name.

The 6-0 thrashing may have been a galling night for Wolves fans yesterday evening, but they can at least take two positives from the match.

Firstly, that the scoreline did not reach double figures - at one stage it looked possible, and secondly the first team debut handed to Zeli Ismail when he came on as an 83rd minute substitute.

So who is the 18-year-old Albanian? Here are five facts about him...

1) Ismail was born in Kukes, Albania, a small town in the mountains with a population of just 16,000 - half the 32,000 odd people in attendance at Stamford Bridge for last night's match.

2) He is a right sided midfielder, also capable of playing at right-back, and came on for right winger Slawowir Peszko to make his debut.

3) He has been in the Wolves academy since the age of 10, but his contract expires in June 2013. Manchester City and Chelsea are among those interested in him, and he is yet to agree a new deal despite being offered one earlier this month.

4) Despite his Albanian heritage, he is an England youth international. Ismail played three times for England's under-17 side, scoring once.

5) He was described as 'priceless' by his former academy director Chris Evans, at Wolves, back in 2008:

"If he continues his progress up to the age of 21 he will become priceless. People are talking about there being a £100m player one day. That’s understandable because the game is now in the hands, not just of millionaires, but billionaires.

“I wouldn’t want to put any pressure on the lad, but in years to come I can see enormous money being spent on Zele.”

Watch this video of Ismail in action... 

image: © Jason Bagley

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