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Why Liverpool critics should celebrate Samed Yesil transfer coup

"We will build and grow from within, buy prudently and cleverly and never again waste resources on inflated transfer fees and unrealistic wages. We have no fear of spending and competing with the very best but we will not overpay for players." - John W Henry

 In his open letter to Liverpool fans last week, could John W Henry have been talking about Samed Yesil?

They've been steaming into the board since the Dempsey deadline fiasco. From Alan Hansen, John Aldridge and Mark Lawrenson, through to the manager, Brendan Rodgers himself, Liverpool's American owners have been lambasted for failing to cough up enough to sign Clint Dempsey ahead of Tottenham.

But for all the wailing on Merseyside, pundits in Germany believe Liverpool have pulled off one of the great transfer coups of the year in the capture of 18 year-old striker Yesil.

Nicknamed 'Gerd' by his Germany U19 teammates, Yesil celebrated his move to Anfield last week with a performance reminiscent of Gerd Muller in victory over England. Yesil struck twice in the win, which was no surprise to Germany coaching staff, who had witnessed this special talent hit an amazing 19 goals in 21 appearances for the U17s.

Bayer Leverksuen know they've lost a gem.

Liverpool swooped on Yesil in the final days of the summer market for a flat £1 million fee. Bayer insisted on a buy-back clause in the teen's four-year deal, but concede the likelihood of taking up the option is remote.

"For me, it's a dream come true. To learn from players such as Luis Suarez is a great opportunity," confessed Yesil.

"I will take things step by step. I hope in a year or two I can play in the first team."

Yesil already has tasted first team football, having been handed a chance in Bayer's final game of last season. Reds legend Sami Hyypia, now part of the Bayer coaching staff, is a big fan and was happy to advise the youngster about life at Anfield when Liverpool first made their interest known.

"He helped me a lot and told me many important things about Liverpool," revealed Yesil.

Hyypia is confident Yesil can made a big impact in England, as is Bayer sports director Rudi Voeller.

"It's not an easy path he has chosen, but he certainly has the qualities to cope with it successfully," said Voeller.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is also a fan and made an attempt for Yesil after last year's U17 World Cup in Mexico, where he finished with the silver boot.

"There are always rumours," recalled Yesil. "I was never bothered by it."

For the moment, Yesil doesn't speak a word of English. But he will stick close to fellow Reds signing, Nuri Sahin, who shares the same Turkish-German background as the young striker.

Indeed, there are alarm bells ringing inside the German FA (DFB) over Sahin's influence on Yesil. Turkey have courted the Yesil family since Samed first broke into the Germany U17 team and the DFB fear a fresh approach with the youngster now plying his trade abroad.

"I'm convinced that Samed will not play for the Turkish team. We had first ever talks with the Turkish federation in 2010, just to test the ground. We were promised a lot, but almost nothing was kept. My son will make the decision, but he also says very clearly that he would rather play for Germany," insists Dad, Sebahattin.

Rodgers has talked up the prospect of Adam Morgan making a contribution this season, but last week it was Yesil who outdid the England U19 striker.

He may feel "a year or two" away from the first team, but given his form and Liverpool's striker shortage, an immediate first team call - possibly for the Capital One Cup - is on the cards for the German kid dubbed 'Gerd'.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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