By James Watkins
Shortly before kickoff today, we received confirmation that Liverpool completed the signing of German international Samed Yesil from Bayer Leverkeusen. Tony Barrett of the Times broke the news of his rumored £1 million transfer early this morning, with the player supposedly en route to Melwood to undergo a medical.*
Amidst ongoing chatter about high-profile targets like Clint Dempsey and Theo Walcott, it’s refreshing to see the club’s back room staff manage another transfer dealing without any of the “ITKs” on Twitter picking up on the scent. At just 18 years old, he’s certainly not a signing for Liverpool’s first team – and he cannot offer the type of immediate depth that Liverpool desperately need up front – but he certainly fits the FSG/Rodgers bill for bringing in talented young players for a nominal fee. He will join the youth ranks to start, but should be expected to see some first-team action sooner rather than later under Rodgers, who has already granted starts to 17-year-old Raheem Sterling and 18-year-old Adam Morgan so far this season.
More details will surface about the player in the next few days, but available stats indicate that Liverpool have snagged another player with real potential. Faced with the same decision as Mesut Ozil, Yesil elected to play for the German national team rather than his home country of Turkey, netting 22 goals in his 26 appearances for the German U16, U-17 and U-18 teams. Six of those came in the 2011 U-17 World Cup, which saw Germany take the bronze medal and Yesil finish as the second-leading goal scorer in the tournament. As of this morning, he was listed as the youngest of four strikers in Bayer Leverkeusen’s first team, having made his senior debut on April 14 against Hertha Berlin. He was not a part of the squad that visited Anfield several weeks ago, spending August with club’s second team instead.
Beyond that, there isn’t much known much about the player, so it’s time to make the collective rush to YouTube and scour compilation videos for a better idea of what he might bring to Rodgers’ new-look Liverpool. Now we can all pretend to be experts by the time the transfer window closes in 24 hours. Ready, go!
* We should warn any fans hoping for another provocative, half-naked photo shoot of the Oussama Assaidi variety, Yesil’s age will likely discourage the Jen Chang and Co. from publishing a similar set of photos from his medical.