It is seldom in football nowadays that you see a highly-rated youngster move club for such a minute fee to a big club, especially when he is touted to be one of his country’s biggest prospects. The Dusseldorf-born striker has so far opted to play for his country of birth rather than his parents’ home nation, at least for the German U-19 side and below. He can still chose between Turkey and Germany, although it is difficult to see him reverting back to the former, after such stellar work has been carried out by the youngster for the Germans’ youth sides. Liverpool legend Sami Hyppia, now manager of Leverkusen, helped convince Yesil last summer that making the move to the Merseyside club would be a step forward in his career. A step that most Liverpool fans hope he will not regret.
With opportunities far from a premium at the Bundesliga side, Yesil made a seemingly wise move from the struggling German contingent to the most successful club in England’s history. Having made 2 appearances for Liverpool’s senior side, both coming in the Capital One Cup, the vast majority of onlookers would agree that he has looked distinctly average, raw for want of a better word. But taking into consideration that he was, and still is, far from the finished article at the time of making these cameo appearances, one should not dwell too much on the fact that these outings were not overly-fruitful ones for the teenager. With both of these short-lived performances coming against relatively strong Premier League outfits Swansea and West Brom, it was not an easy task to make his mark for the Anfield side. Brendan Rodgers has already shown his passion for bleeding more youth at the highest level numerous times this season, through players such as Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom. Although now that Liverpool have summer signing Fabio Borini back from the dead, along with the recent signing of Daniel Sturridge, Yesil’s chances will most likely be very limited until the end of the current campaign.
Yesil is one of the European football scene’s more prolific front-men at his age group. He boasts a staggering goal-scoring record for his current and previous sides, netting 8 times in 6 appearances for Germany’s U-19s and 57 times in 71 games for Bayer Leverkusen’s youth sides. His 3 goals at the U-17 European Championships in 2011 were dwarfed by his next achievement, as he went on to claim the prestigious ‘Golden Boot’ accolade in the U-17 World Cup, scoring 6 goals in the process, but losing out to hosts and eventual victors Mexico in the semi-final.
The 18-year old is no stranger to putting the ball between the sticks, and is nick-named ‘Gerd’ by some team-mates, after German legend Gerd Muller. Upon making the transition to England, Yesil had a lot of work to do in an attempt to grab a place in Liverpool’s youth sides, as they sport some of England’s finest young talent. In recent months, the teen has built more of a name for himself amongst the Anfield faithful after a relatively subdued start, finding solid form for the U-21s and U-19s, bagging a few aesthetically appeasing goals along the way. His two best finishes in a Liverpool shirt are undoubtedly his first goal for his new side against Crystal Palace U-21 (a well-measured chip), and a sumptuous backheel against Singapore’s U19 outfit.
Chip v Palace
Backheel v Singapore
Yesil has all the right tools in his armory. With pace, nimble footwork and an immeasurable finish at his disposal, the Turk has a bright career on the horizon. If he is nurtured properly by the Red’s coaching staff, he could soon become a regular fixture on the Premier League club’s team sheet for years to come. As long as no major hiccups get in the way of what could be a hugely illustrious career for the Liverpool talisman, we could be looking at a potential world-class pedigree player in the making, and Brendan Rodgers looks to have an almost certain prodigy on his hands.