Nahki Wells, second left, celebrates James Hanson’s opening goal for Bradford City in their 3-0 win over Northampton at Wembley. *AFP photo
Nahki Wells, second left, celebrates James Hanson’s opening goal for Bradford City in their 3-0 win over Northampton at Wembley. *AFP photo

When the Sky Sports interviewer shoved the microphone in front of Nahki Wells’ face at Wembley, he almost cracked.

A Man-of-the-Match  performance, promotion to League One, the first Bermudian player to score at Wembley, career in the ascendency, there was understandably a lot going through the 22-year-old’s mind.

“So”, said the TV man,  “does this mean you will still be at Bradford City next year?”

The world of football rarely gives you a chance to sit back and enjoy the moment.

There’s always questions, whether you’re on the way up or on the way down.

Wells, momentarily stuttered, his instinctive good manners and integrity competing against the ambition that clearly burns inside the former Dandy Town man.

“Absolutely”, came the eventual response.

He was kidding no-one, though. And that’s not a criticism.

After the match he told the press hordes: “We all have the desire to play at the highest possible level and if the opportunity comes, I will have to take it.”

Bantams fans won’t like it but that’s the more realistic answer.

There’s no doubting Wells’ love of Bradford, the warmth he feels for the fans and obvious respect he has for manager Phil Parkinson.

The club has allowed his talent to blossom. He feels comfortable there, able to express himself.

That should not be sniffed at.

But as a pro, Wells will be dreaming of climbing the ladder. And why not. His talent is clearly bigger than League Two.

He’s made no secret to the Bermuda Sun that he wants to go as far as his talent will take him. Ideally with Bradford but if not, so be it.

Despite his loyalty to the Bradford cause, if a bigger club offer £800,000-£1 million and double, even triple, his wages, it takes a brave — some would say stupid — man to say no.

There’s a dilemma for the club as well. Do they cash in or do they build? But even at that level, the power is largely with the player.

So this is why this summer will be fascinating because players’ career choices can result in fame or failure.

Clubs reported to be interested in Wells include Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Burnley and Leeds United.

Such is the nature of football and the UK red-tops, they all must be taken with a pinch of salt.

But there’s no smoke without fire and those clubs being bandied around offer incredibly-tempting opportunities.

Leeds were definitely looking at him before the change of manager and it remains to be seen whether new boss Brian McDermott is a fan. One thing is for sure, they are in for a summer of rebuilding so will be active in the market.

McDermott’s Reading team had more flair and movement than predecessor Warnock’s often tough, physical, more direct teams at QPR and Sheffield United.

Leeds also have rich history — title winners, FA Cup winners — it’s an exciting city with a huge fanbase and is a Premier League club in all but name. They are also down the road from Bradford, so no need for Wells to move very far. 

That can’t be underestimated for a young man living in a foreign country.

And trust me, the north of England can be foreign to some English people, never mind Bermudians.

Crystal Palace is the other club that will be hard to say no to if they come calling.

Talk is manager Ian Holloway wants Wells to replace Man United-bound Wilfried Zaha. Now that’s pressure, especially as they could be in the top-flight themselves after the playoff final.

Is Wells ready for that sort of scrutiny in the capital city. I would suggest not yet but then he will rightly back himself. The chance would be too good to turn down.

Bournemouth are a smaller club than Bradford but can offer Championship football. Their big attraction is the excellent young manager Eddie Howe, who would nurture Wells in the same way Parkinson has at Valley Parade.

Then there’s Burnley, a solid Championship club across the Pennines. Sean Dyche is relatively new in the hot seat and will be looking to strengthen this summer. There will be phone calls made, agents sniffing for their cuts and offers tabled. Wells, of course, may decide he wants another year at the club that has been so good to him. Lots of players have made far worse decision.

I just ask one question — could you turn down Leeds United or Crystal Palace?

Thought not.