In the Football League’s current transfer window, there is plenty of talent on offer. Some clubs are looking to strengthen themselves and others to offload players, however there is no hotter property than Bradford’s Nakhi Wells. The highly sought after Bermudian striker has been on the radar of several clubs this season and after an impressive start, has attracted the interest of many clubs.
After being released from Carlisle United, Bradford picked up Wells on a free transfer and ever since he has become hot property but this is not where his story began. Wells originally came from the island of Bermuda and as a young teenager he had trials at the Dutch club Ajax. Ajax were astounded by his incredible attributes and his sheer pace but ultimately saw a contract offer declined by Wells for location reasons. Wells then returned to Bermuda to play for Bermuda Hogges and the Dandy Town Hornets, a club where he spent 7 years of his youth career. Through a project called RIASA (Richmond International Academic and Sporting Academy based in nearby Leeds, Wells was then coming to the UK. He played football with a local side in Bradford, Eccleshill United before his successful trial with Carlisle meant he would be joining a Football League side. However, after making 3 appearances for Carlisle, he left and Bradford immediately snapped him up.
Wells’ time at Bradford began in League Two and after some impressive performances he scored his first goal against Barnet. His ‘wonder goal’ against the then League One Rochdale, showcased some of Wells’ talents. Then, after notching an impressive goal scoring spell, he started 2012 with a bang with a goal against Championship Watford. Wells had impressed Bradford fans and he scored his first hat-trick for the club against Northampton Town; the start of a record against the cobblers. After a contract extension, the 2012/13 season was one of Wells’ most pivotal seasons in justifying his raw talent. After a brilliant start to the season, he questioned the likes of Arsenal’s and Villa’s defences after Bradford’s brilliant cup run. Fine goal-scoring form for Wells had begun to attract interest by the time January 2013 hit but Wells kept playing brilliantly. He eventually helped Bradford to gain an all important second visit to Wembley by scoring 3 goals against Burton across the semi-finals, before scoring in the 3-0 demolition of Northampton in the play-off final to earn promotion to League One.
His excellent start to the current season has been tracked by many clubs, as he has scored 15 goals in 21 games. This was including another hat-trick in the televised game against other League One high-flyers Coventry. He recently scored a wonderful free kick against Leyton Orient attracting more interest from a range of clubs. At the beginning of the season it was discovered Peterborough United had bidded for the young striker to be rejected by Bradford. Wells also picked up the August player of the month for his scintillating form credited by many players and managers across the Football League.
With the transfer window open, below are some clubs who could sign the 23 year old striker who is on red hot form.
The Big Five Potential Bidders.
With Premier League interest being confirmed earlier from Bradford’s Chairman Mark Lawn, Sunderland may be real contenders for his services. After a reasonably slow start to the season results have really begun to pick up for the club. With a Capital One Cup semi-final soon, which is familiar ground for Wells, Gus Poyet has revitalised the football and improved morale at the club. The search for a striker is imminent and the question may be; Could Wells be the man to rejuvenate the struggling squad with his lethal finishing and astoundingly quick style of play?
Queens Park Rangers
A lot of Championship clubs are believed to be in the hunt for Wells, however QPR were rumoured to be highly interested in the summer for they were believed to be lining up a fee of £3 Million for him. (Courtesy of the Daily Star). With Harry Redknapp admitting he needs to strengthen his strike force and relieve the pressure on Charlie Austin could Wells be the key to QPR’s promotion push back to the Premier League?
With Ross McCormack highly sought after, Leeds are looking for a goal scorer and Wells could most certainly fit the bill. For a figure of roughly £3 Million he could provide a strong replacement if McCormack was to leave. Wells may find Leeds a comfortable move as it would be good for location as well as regular Championship football. He could find Leeds a useful move as he may find a strong strike partnership with Striker Matt Smith, similar to the ‘Little and Large’ combination with James Hanson at Bradford. With Leeds rumoured to have made a interest (Credit Sky Sources), Would Bradford let him go to such fierce rivals for a ‘cheap’ price?
Wigan’s relegation has seen them respond brightly and with new manager Uwe Rosler taking over he me be interested in buying the striker. After his time at Brentford, Rosler saw Wells score last year in an FA cup game against them and this season play a pivotal role in a 4-0 thumping at Valley Parade netting again for The Bantams. This could provoke interest from Wigan. Wigan have been rumoured with wanting to offload young striker Nouha Dicko as well and rumours of the striker being recalled from a loan spell at Rotherham, for a Cash and Player swap for Wells (Credit to Jonathan Buchan) may tempt Bradford to offload the Bermudian.
The Scottish club are looking for a long term replacement for Gary Hooper and Wells could prove to be the player who could fit the criteria. With a glimpse of potential Champions League football, it could be a hard decision to say no from Wells. If Celtic did offer for Wells, it may be difficult for some Championship clubs to offer more for the player himself.
The Best of the Rest
Huddersfield Town have been rumoured to have bid for Wells and are the favorites in the ‘where will Nakhi be after this transfer window‘ market. Striker James Vaughan has not scored in a while and Huddersfield may need that fresh signing of Wells to help kick start their Season.
With Jordan Rhodes’ Departure from Ewood Park looking likely, Wells may provide the replacement to spend the fee for Rhodes on. Could Blackburn do the deal in enough time though to let Bradford find a replacement?
Rumoured to be searching for a new Striker, Reading May have found their man in Wells. His sheer pace and finishing May link well with other quick winger Gareth McLeary. Rumours of a potential cash and player swap for Adam Le Fondre as well could be a suprise deal offering Bradford a real replacement.
Something I personally believe could happen is that Newcastle could sign the young Striker. My reasoning is that Haris Vuckic a target of Bradford Pre-Season now on loan at Rotherham could potentially be recalled as part of a Cash Player swap deal?
With a shortage of prolific Goalscoring strikers at West Ham and Premier League interest for Wells confirmed, could he be on his way to London to save the Hammers season?
Wolves are likely to return to the Championship and may want to secure Wells to help them assault a challenge on the Championship. With him being a previous target, Wolves may look to buy him.
With knowledge Peterborough are the only club to have bid for Wells previously, they may attempt to sign him again. He could form a lethal partnership with striker Britt Assombalonga and he may end up at a very big club for a very big price. This could be due to Peterborough’s renowned reputation for buying and selling young strikers with players such as Dwight Gayle leaving London Road in the past.
Watford and Notts Forest
Both of these clubs have come under scrutiny in recent weeks for the lack of goals and Wells may potentially offer a lifeline for their Promotion chances. He could form a lethal partnership with Watford’s Troy Deeney too after Watford have been linked with Wells in the past.
Nakhi Wells is highly likely to leave Bradford with so much interest from other clubs but the question is to where? My Prediction would be to QPR. As for a value I believe £3 Million will roughly be the fee but the yet again the unpredictability of the transfer window may cause major shocks.