5-Year-Old Soccer Phenom Is Perfect Catch for Pro Men's Team (VIDEO)

Charlie JacksonDavid Beckham had better watch out. A kid named Charlie Jackson is being hailed as the future of British soccer. Oh yeah, and the kid signed by professional club Manchester United is just 5 years old. They got to him just in time!

Raised your eyebrows, didn't I? I admit the first time I heard that soccer clubs tend to recruit 'em so young they can't even reach the cookie jar on the counter, I suffered a bout of moral indignation. But after three seasons watching my now 6-year-old play team soccer, I'm convinced this is the only way for a team to go.

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Sending a kid out to play soccer during the season is nice. Keep a kid practicing all year-round, on the other hand, and you can see real results in skill development.

When a team like Manchester United takes a kid like Charlie Jackson on at just 5 years old, what they're really committing to is giving that kid the best training possible. A big part of that is consistency. Consistency in terms of keeping up practice beyond a kid's league season, and consistency in terms of the skills he's being taught.

Being a star athlete isn't just about talent. A teenager who has the ability to bend the ball like Beckham but has developed some really shoddy ball-handling skills in other areas of the pitch is not going to help a Premier League soccer team. They want a kid who doesn't have to un-learn bad habits that come from sub-par training. They want a kid who already plays like they do -- if not at that caliber, at least in an approximation of their methods.

On the other hand, let's face it -- talent is talent. Whether it's a 5-year-old who has it or a 15-year-old, a club scout knows what they're looking for. Charlie Jackson has it. Just check the little guy out:

Do you think the gamble by Manchester United will pay off?


Image via YouTube

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