The first time I wrote about Abdulkadir Omur was for the Guardian newspapers 2016 Next Generation project.
Omur made the list alongside 60 of the best young talents in world football.
This is what I had to write about him.
Pretty tame really compared to UEFA describing him as something of a cross between Lionel Messi and Gheorghe Hagi.
Comparing wonder kids to the likes of Messi and Hagi rarely bodes well. The history annuls are full of players destined for greatness who never quite made it. Afterall a lot can go wrong. Injuries, mental frailties, a manager refusing to play youngsters are just a few of the obstacles between potential and greatness.
There was however, always something special about Omur. The rare combination of talent, work ethic and having the right mentality.
Young players with any degree of talent in Turkey often end up spoiled. Paid over the odds despite being rarely played. You are more likely to see them in high-end Istanbul nightclubs and racing Lambo’s instead of showcasing their talent on the pitch.
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In a sense, Omur was lucky to have been a product of the Trabzonspor academy. The only club out of the traditional big four who seem to give any importance to developing talent these days.
— Turkish Football (@Turkish_Futbol1) October 16, 2017
The rising star got his lucky break this season. The Black Sea Storm have been more open to the idea of giving their youngsters a chance after the success of another local hero, 21-year-old Yusuf Yazici – more about him another day.
Omur was just 17-years-old when he made his full debut in the Turkish Cup. Naturally, he ended up scoring in the 5-0 win over Kizilcaboluk.
We had to wait until the current league campaign to see Omur again. The 1.68m tall attacking midfielder came on during the half-time break with Trabzonspor trailing 1-0 to Gencerlbirligi at home. Head coach Ersun Yanal rolled the dice. His side were in pretty dreadful form and he was really clutching at straws by this stage. Now 18-years-old, Omur came to the rescue. Providing the assist for the equalizer and putting on a stunning display showcasing his creativity, flair, vision and technique.
Abdulkadir Ömür’ün, Gençlerbirliği maçında Olcay’a yaptığı asist benim hafızama kazındı.. pic.twitter.com/qZcMiimd4b
— Samet Emirzeoğlu (@SametEmirzeoglu) September 15, 2017
Omur battled for his place in the first-team and went onto become a regular starter after Yanal was sacked in place for Riza Calimbay. The Turkey U21 international has started his sides last nine games. The youngster was the hero yet again last weekend helping Trabzonspor snap a six-game winless streak with the winner against Alanyaspor.
The starlet put on a man of the match display scoring the winner, creating a goal scoring opportunity, completing 83 percent of his passes, making four successful dribbles and winning 11 of 18 duels entered.
The rising star is starting to prove himself as a key player for the team. The left-footed attacking midfielder has displayed explosive acceleration and dribbling ability. Most impressive however, is his intelligence and technique. Omur is capable of unlocking opposition defenses with intricate passes. He has the vision not usually associated with a player so young. The Trabzonspor starlet has also displayed a great deal of versatility playing on the right and left side of midfield in attacking as well as central roles.
It is little surprise that several European giants have been keeping close tabs on his development. Omur has two goals and four assists in his breakthrough season in the Super Lig including an assist against Fenerbahce.
— Turkish Football (@Turkish_Futbol1) January 28, 2018
Arsenal and Tottenham are among the sides who have been scouting Omur and have been doing so throughout the course of the season.
A source close to Trabzonspor revealed to Turkish-Football that the two North London based sides are among a number of European outfits interested in their star man.
Even Mesut Ozil recently waxed lyrical about the youngster.
In a recent interview with the Sabah newspaper Ozil said: Ozil said: “I really like Trabzonspor duo Yusuf Yazici and Abdulkadir Omur, they are incredible talents.”
I still think it is too early for him to leave. His mission at Trabzonspor is not yet complete. The Black Sea based outfit are reluctant to let him leave and have set a hefty €25m valuation to his name.
The club are giving him the platform to showcase his talent, develop and gain top-tier experience. There are no guarantees other sides will show the same faith and he is not yet at a level where he could walk into a top European side and command a starting position. Omur must strengthen, gain more experience and become a more complete player which will come with time – as long as he is playing.
Omur marks a new wave of Turkish talent springing up after years of drought. It would not surprise me at all to see him joining the likes of Cengiz Under, Enes Unal and Caylar Soyuncu in ignoring a move to one of the traditional Istanbul giants in favor of a move to one of the top five European leagues. Keep a very close eye on this youngster.