Who is Yusuf Yazici? – The new Mesut Ozil being targeted by Liverpool, Arsenal & Man United
Yusuf Yazici is the latest in a growing trend of Turkish players attracting interest from across Europe.
Liverpool became the latest club to target Yazici [Football Whispers], joining Arsenal and Manchester United [Turkish-Football] who have also been keeping tabs on the 20-year-old attacking midfielder.
For years Arda Turan flew the banner for Turks abroad. In case you are wondering, I have not forgot about the likes of Hakan Calhanoglu, Emre Mor or Mesut Ozil who also happen to be of Turkish origin.
The major difference is that none of the players mentioned above were actually born in Turkey. They are the product of the German, Danish and other Western European countries footballing systems which developed them. These players happen to be ethnic Turks making them eligible to represent Turkey.
See More: For the latest Yusuf Yazici news and everything else you ever wanted to know about the Trabzonspor
To summarise, Turkish football has benefited immensely from the children and grandchildren of the Gastarbeiter – as well as immigrants to other Western European countries.
For years the major Super Lig clubs and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) did not bother with youth development. What was the point? the likes of Germany, Belgium and Netherlands were doing their job for them. There are however, no guarantees that a player born in abroad will actually play for Turkey as Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan and Emre Can quite clearly demonstrate.
The TFF finally started to wake up a few years back and a few club started to see the light. We can now quite confidently say change is on the horizon.
Cengiz Under became the most expensive Turkish international to leave the Super Lig when he was snapped up by Roma on a €14.9 million on his 20th birthday earlier this summer. 20-year-old Caglar Soyuncu is a first-team Bundesliga defender for Freiburg and Enes Unal was snapped up by Villarreal from Manchester City on a €14 million move.
Yazici marks the latest in a growing number of players born in Turkey with the potential to play at the highest level.
The rising star burst onto the scene mid-way through last season.
Trabzonspor head coach Ersun Yanal was pretty much forced into the decision of promoted Yazici from the reserve side as a replacement for the injured Mehmet Ekici.
It was not long before Yanal’s gamble paid off big. The attacking midfielder soon had pretty much everyone’s attention in the league.
It is easy to see why Yazici is attracting attention from the Premier League. Standing in at 1.83m and being pretty well built he uses raw power to his advantage.
Yazici is powerful, quick but what stands out most is his intelligence. Despite being aged just 20, he walked into the Trabzonspor side, set the league alight and got himself called up to the senior national team.
The Trabzonspor No 10 scored six times and provided 10 assists in 22 games last season. He also provided an assist on his debut for the Turkish national team in a key World Cup qualifier against Kosovo in June.
Despite operating predominantly in central areas, Yazici can also be deployed on the flanks and uses his strength and pace well off the ball on the defensive end as is now required from the modern footballer.
As with most hot talents there is the urge to compare them with a more established player.
In the case of Yazici it was obvious from the start who he would be likened to. With his languid playing style, intelligence and impressive assist ratio it was not long before he was nicknamed the new Mesut Ozil.
And when Ozil’s agent Dr Erkut Sogut signed him up in April it cemented the association.
“We do not want to leave things to chance, we want to plan his career to get him the best possibly future and as a result we will work under the management of Dr Erkut Sogut who knows the European leagues inside out,” Yazici’s agent Ahmet Cebeci – who will now work with Dr Erkut’s player management firm – was quoted as saying after the deal.
Last season we tipped Under as being the player to keep a close eye on. This season we are going for Yazici. The Trabzonspor ace is currently flying under the radar but we do not expect that to remain the case for much longer.