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Old 28-08-21, 10:01 PM   #4321
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Originally Posted by Buzzo View Post
Sepp Van Den Berg has just notched for Preston.
I’m guessing a header from a corner or set piece
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Old 28-08-21, 10:51 PM   #4322
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I’m guessing a header from a corner or set piece
Been playing RWB for them and scored midweek also - back post tap in from a cross
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Old 29-08-21, 03:32 AM   #4323
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Been playing RWB for them and scored midweek also - back post tap in from a cross
Is he mobile enough for a RWB though? Or are they desperate & needs must?
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Old 29-08-21, 08:11 AM   #4324
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Is he mobile enough for a RWB though? Or are they desperate & needs must?
I’d say the latter


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Old 29-08-21, 09:33 AM   #4325
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Thanks bud. I thought I’d read on here before that he was a CB in the making & we were playing him as a RB to help his development.
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Old 29-08-21, 01:52 PM   #4326
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Old 30-08-21, 03:34 AM   #4327
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Wow that might add a few £££££’s to his value
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Old 30-08-21, 01:46 PM   #4328
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That were absolute diabolical
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Old 30-08-21, 02:17 PM   #4329
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He must fucking love England!
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Old 31-08-21, 11:16 AM   #4330
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He seems to be tearing it up in Germany - £6m looking like good business

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Old 02-09-21, 11:43 AM   #4331
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That’s a lovely break & a great finish.
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Old 02-09-21, 07:38 PM   #4332
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Why didn't we fucking keep him and move on origi. Even if the ability is similar it would have been a fresh face about the place.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:11 PM   #4333
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No one wants Origi and Taiwo can't get a work permit.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:13 PM   #4334
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No one wants Origi and Taiwo can't get a work permit.
I thought he finally qualified for one.

No one wants to pay for origi but we could have given him away.
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Old 02-09-21, 09:16 PM   #4335
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Yeah I thought he finally got his work permit too & for the peanuts we sold him for surely he was worth a gamble. And like Bob said just buy out Divs contract & send him packing
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Old 02-09-21, 09:40 PM   #4336
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What’s the cost of that?
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Old 02-09-21, 09:45 PM   #4337
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What’s the cost of that?
Hasn’t he got 1 year left at £60k pw? It’s not the best business decision I’ll grant you that but I’m sick of seeing him on the books & doing nothing when he does get a chance. And taking up a valuable spot on the roster.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:09 PM   #4338
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Divock is one of those strange ones.

It's clear he has zero future here.

We know that and he knows that.

When he gets a chance he isn't busting a gut as he knows it's all in vain.

But if you're Divock and you're sitting at home watching Married At First Sight or some other similar shite, don't you think, I should be somewhere else at least playing football. If that means my contract of £60,000 might need to drop to £40,000 or even £30,000 but I'll be happier and actually playing football then surely you would have been trying to make that happen. Before anyone says would I take a 50% wage cut no, but my job isn't a time specific one. Divock has 5 or 6 years to play and still earn good money before doing something with the rest of his life. It's not like a player like Ox that keeps getting bad injuries. He's just going through the motions. It's criminal.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:14 PM   #4339
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Fuck me... I am sitting at home watching Married at first sight on E4+1...

Has it really gotten that bad?
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Old 02-09-21, 10:16 PM   #4340
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To be fair I sat through an entire series of the Australian one and it became addictive.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:19 PM   #4341
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I thought he finally qualified for one.

No one wants to pay for origi but we could have given him away.
Seems like we did...missed that one, maybe Klopp did too?
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Old 02-09-21, 11:26 PM   #4342
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But if you're Divock and you're sitting at home watching Married At First Sight or some other similar shite, don't you think, I should be somewhere else at least playing football. If that means my contract of £60,000 might need to drop to £40,000 or even £30,000 but I'll be happier and actually playing football then surely you would have been trying to make that happen. Before anyone says would I take a 50% wage cut no, but my job isn't a time specific one. Divock has 5 or 6 years to play and still earn good money before doing something with the rest of his life. It's not like a player like Ox that keeps getting bad injuries. He's just going through the motions. It's criminal.
You're assuming all footballers are doing for the love. I'm sure like many jobs there are those out there that happen to be gifted at a sport they couldn't give a toss about. Its not a wasted career to them.
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Old 02-09-21, 11:44 PM   #4343
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You're assuming all footballers are doing for the love. I'm sure like many jobs there are those out there that happen to be gifted at a sport they couldn't give a toss about. Its not a wasted career to them.
I remember reading a famous footballers biography once and him saying he knew of professional players who hated football and seen it as a pure job. Not surprising I guess.

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Old 02-09-21, 11:47 PM   #4344
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To be fair I sat through an entire series of the Australian one and it became addictive.
Yeah... The Australian one looked way better than the UK one. I watch it as a sort of cultural exchange with my girlfriend. I am sure she gets the better end of the deal
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Old 03-09-21, 10:24 AM   #4345
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You're assuming all footballers are doing for the love. I'm sure like many jobs there are those out there that happen to be gifted at a sport they couldn't give a toss about. Its not a wasted career to them.
Also, us fans see games as the be all and end all.
But they do more training than they do games. That is part of the job too.
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Old 06-09-21, 10:34 AM   #4346
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From the Athletic

Samed Yesil should be entering his prime.
He was one of the biggest talents of his generation in Germany. He made his Bundesliga debut for Bayer Leverkusen when he was just 17.
His prolific goalscoring at youth level for club and country earned him the nickname ‘Gerd’, after legendary striker Gerd Muller.
Liverpool paid Leverkusen £1 million to sign him at age 18 in the summer of 2012 and he was soon rubbing shoulders with Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez at Melwood.
He had the world at his feet.
Now 27, Yesil’s life is far removed from the bright lights of the Premier League.
Living in the city of Krefeld, north west of Dusseldorf, with wife Gonca and their young son Ilyas, he plays for DJK Teutonia St Tonis in the Oberliga Niederrhein, a regional league in the fifth tier of German football who train three times a week. From 7am until 3:30pm Monday to Friday, he works in a factory, building air filters.
“It’s an amateur league, but it’s still a good league to improve yourself and get fit,” Yesil tells The Athletic.
“We’ve taken four points out of six so far this season and I’ve got a few assists, so I want to build on that. It depends who we are facing but usually we get crowds of around 200 to 300. I’m sure if I can play 30 games this season and score 15 to 20 goals then I will move back up the leagues again.
“The president of the club gave me a job in his company. I need to try ways into life post-football, in case I don’t get back into a professional league.”
To say that Yesil has been dealt a bad hand would be an understatement.
Devastating injury setbacks wrecked his time at Liverpool and since his contract there expired in 2016 he’s led a nomadic existence. However, despite all the adversity he’s been faced with, his spirit hasn’t been broken. He is engaging company as he relives a journey that cruelly veered off track after such a promising start.
“Growing up, it was always my dream to become a footballer,” says Yesil, as he perches on the edge of his sofa.
“I played for a small team in Dusseldorf before Leverkusen spotted me when I was 11 or 12. I signed my first professional contract with them when I was 16. That was the age when I first started playing for Germany.
“Emre Can, a good friend of mine, was in my age group. So too was Kaan Ayhan, who now plays for (Serie A side) Sassuolo and (has over 40 caps for) the Turkey national team, and Odysseas Vlachodimos, who now plays for Benfica and Greece.”
Yesil scored an impressive 20 goals in 22 appearances for Germany Under-17s. He was joint top-scorer at the Under-17 European Championship in 2011 as Germany lost the final to a Netherlands team including Memphis Depay, now starring for the Dutch senior side and Barcelona, and Manchester City’s Nathan Ake.
He was second-leading goalscorer in the Under-17 World Cup later that same summer after finding the net on six occasions. He scored twice in a quarter-final win over an England side featuring Raheem Sterling and Jordan Pickford before Germany succumbed to hosts Mexico in the last four.
“When people started calling me ‘Gerd’, I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t even know who Gerd Muller was. He played before I was born,” he says.
“But I started to Google him and I watched all his goals. I realised then what a big honour it was. I could see that we were similar strikers in that all his goals were scored from inside the box — in my career, I think I’ve only ever scored one goal from outside the box.
“I never felt pressure because of that comparison. I only took it as a compliment when they said I was like him.”
samed-yesil
Samed Yesil was prolific for Germany’s youth teams (Photo: Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/GettyImages)
Former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia was the manager who gave Yesil his senior bow for Leverkusen against Hertha Berlin in April 2012. He had forced his way into the first-team squad by scoring 58 goals in 74 games for the club’s under-17 and under-19 teams.
“There was a lot of attention on me but I was just really happy to be involved at such a young age,” he says. “I’d been on the bench a few times before I got on. When I heard my name called out, I was so pleased. Sami was a good coach. In every training game, he played as a centre-back. Even though he was quite old (Hyypia was 39!) you could still see what a great defender he was.”
That summer, Liverpool came calling. Brendan Rodgers had just taken over as manager. Yesil had recently turned 18.
“I’d always wanted to play in England one day, but I didn’t think it would happen to me when I was so young,” he admits.
“I was thinking more like when I was 25 or 26 but I was also happy that it happened. At the time, I didn’t know Liverpool were watching me and I was thinking of a transfer to maybe another club in the Bundesliga.
“I only found out I was signing for Liverpool when I went to the airport and my agent showed me the flight tickets. It was a big surprise that they wanted me.
“I never thought about clubs watching me when I did well at those international tournaments with Germany. Sometimes I’d read in the newspapers, ‘Arsene Wenger is trying to sign Samed Yesil for Arsenal’. But I never asked my agent if it was true. I just continued to play.
“As soon as my agent told me that Liverpool wanted me, I just wasn’t interested in any other clubs. It was an easy decision to make. It was Liverpool. My mind was made up.
“I moved over with my cousin. His English was much better than mine, so he helped me a lot with all the paperwork for things. At first, I lived in the Sefton Park area and then I moved to an apartment in the city. Everyone was so friendly. Liverpool was a nice place to live.”
Yesil was initially based with the under-21s squad at the Kirkby academy but during the September international break he returned home and played in an under-19s friendly against an England team featuring Pickford, Sterling, Eric Dier, John Stones and James Ward-Prowse. He scored two goals and created the other in a 3-1 win.
samed-yesil
Yesil celebrates scoring past England’s Jordan Pickford in the 2011 Under-17 World Cup (Photo: Francisco Estrada/LatinContent via Getty Images)
“Adam Morgan and Raheem, who were both already part of the first-team squad at Liverpool, played in that game,” he recalls.
“When I flew back to Liverpool, I got a message from one of the coaching staff to say that, from the following day onwards, I would be training with the first team at Melwood rather than going to Kirkby.
“It was like a dream. I only knew these players from the PlayStation and from watching games on TV. Now I was sharing a dressing room with Suarez, Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. I needed a few weeks to realise that it was really happening.
“Brendan was so good. He always wanted to play football. Never long balls, always to play it short from the goalkeeper forwards and build attacks. I liked that.
“I remember he said to me that when I’d learned good enough English he would give me a chance in the first team. So I got myself an English teacher who came to my apartment three times a week. After about four weeks, my English was good. I went to Brendan and said, ‘Coach, my English is much better now.’ He said, ‘OK, you will start in the League Cup against West Brom.’”
On September 26, Yesil led the line for a team including Carragher and Jordan Henderson in front of 21,000 at The Hawthorns. Nuri Sahin scored twice and holders Liverpool advanced with a 2-1 win.
“It was my first game in a full stadium and we were up against Romelu Lukaku, who is now one of the best strikers in the world,” he says. “It was a really good moment for me and one I will never forget. The shirt from that game is on the wall in my parents’ house.”
A month later, he started the next round as Swansea City, the eventual winners, beat Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield. It proved to be his second and final senior appearance for the club.
samed-yesil
Yesil stretching next to Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher at Melwood (Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
“I know we lost but that night was something really special for me. It was amazing to play in front of the Kop. It’s difficult to find the right words for what it was like. You have to be on that pitch to feel it like that.
“As the coach started to trust me more, I felt more comfortable. I started to know my team-mates better and I spoke to more of them. I felt like I had become part of the squad.
“I knew I still had a lot to improve but I wanted to learn and get more minutes. In Suarez, I was learning from one of the best strikers in the world. How he trained, how he finished, it was incredible.”
Yesil’s problems began the following February.
He was playing for Germany Under-19s in a friendly away to their Italy counterparts when he tore the ACL in his right knee.
“The game wasn’t played on grass. It was on an artificial pitch and as I went to change direction, my leg stopped and my knee turned,” he says. “There was some pain but I didn’t think it was serious. I actually played on. After the game, I went to see the doctor. He did all the tests and said it was probably just a bit painful because of the pitch.
“When I got back to Liverpool I went out to train but, after about 20 minutes, I had to stop because the pain was so bad. They sent me for an MRI scan and that showed my ACL was badly damaged. I went to London for an operation.”
After eight months out, Yesil made his comeback for Liverpool Under-21s against Tottenham in the October. He was desperate to make up for lost time and force his way back into Rodgers’ plans. However, just three months later, his world came crashing down once again.
“During a training session at Liverpool, I went to run back and my knee twisted. I heard a big ‘boom’ noise,” he says. “I knew it was the same injury. Same ACL, same knee. It swelled up so much.
“Everyone has a different opinion about why it happened again. Some say it happened because my rehab wasn’t so good and maybe I started back too early. Others say maybe the operation didn’t go so well.
“The second time, I decided to have the surgery done in Germany by the specialist who operates on all the national-team players. I have to say a big thank you to Liverpool for respecting my wishes on that. They also let me do my rehab in Germany, which was fantastic of them.”
Yesil was sidelined for another 10 months. Mentally, that second rehab stint was much tougher.
“Before the first ACL injury, I’d never even suffered a twisted ankle,” he says. “I went from never getting injured to doing my ACL twice.
samed-yesil
Yesil’s promising Liverpool career was wrecked by successive ACL injuries in the same knee (Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)
“The first time I thought, ‘OK, I can use this time to work on my body and get stronger.’ But the second time I really thought about quitting playing football completely. I knew I’d be out for so long. I was lucky I had great friends and family who stayed always behind me. They kept pushing me and gave me the strength to come back again.”
Yesil returned to action for Liverpool Under-21s against Sunderland in August 2014. By then, fellow striker Suarez had left for Barcelona, with Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli being signed to compete with Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge for places up front.
Rodgers wasn’t exactly blessed with firepower but Yesil struggled to regain both form and fitness. He made 11 appearances under Michael Beale — now Gerrard’s assistant at Rangers — in Premier League 2 that season, scoring three times.
“When I’d been in Germany for the rehab I’d started to eat not so healthy things and I put on some kilos, so I needed to lose some weight. Plus, in my head, when I went into a tackle, I just wasn’t 100 per cent. I was thinking, ‘What if it happens again?’ I was scared. I knew if my ACL went for a third time, I’d never be able to play again.”
In the summer of 2015, as he began the final year of his contract, Yesil jumped at the chance to join Luzern on a season-long loan. The Swiss club were managed by former Liverpool full-back Markus Babbel.
“At first, I was thinking I could do well there and still have a future at Liverpool. I knew the coach at Luzern from my national team. He knew what kind of footballer I was. The first game I started for them, we won 1-0 (against FC Zurich) and I scored the goal. I was thinking, ‘I’m back’.
“But then there were some issues between the coach and the president. Two new strikers came in and I became number three or four. It was really difficult. Long balls, strikers who are two metres tall winning headers, I’m not the striker to play that kind of football.”
Having scored just that one goal in 14 Swiss Super League games, Yesil faced an uncertain future after being released by Liverpool at the end of his contract the following summer. He was without a club for six months before joining Panionios in Greece in January 2017.
His first full season with the Athens side was promising, as he scored eight goals in 31 appearances in all competitions in 2017-18. The problems he encountered came off the field rather than on it.
“The only reason I left was because payments were either late or they ‘forgot’ to pay me completely,” Yesil says. “They would pay you in January and then there would be nothing until October or November. It was not easy to live with no money. I had to change clubs again.”

Panionios’s failure to settle their debts with the Greek government as well as with players and staff led to the club being demoted from the professional leagues to the amateur ranks. Now they are back in the second tier under new ownership, Yesil is on the verge of reaching a financial settlement with them.
After a spell with third-tier Uerdingen in his home city of Krefeld, Yesil headed to Turkey to sign for second division Ankara Demir in January of last year. But he played just 141 minutes of football for them in seven appearances either side of the pandemic shutdown before joining Homberg, a fourth-tier side in Duisburg, just a few miles north of Krefeld, last October.
“It’s not easy when you are having to move all the time,” he admits. “I’m someone who likes to travel but I was married by then and for my wife it was difficult. You bring your stuff and then a few months later you have to pack everything up and go somewhere else. You reach a point where you just want to be settled.”
This summer, after 22 games and two goals for Homberg, Yesil dropped down a division to sign for Teutonia St Tonis.
When he’s not on a shift at the KSI Filtertechnik factory or training, he’s spending time with six-month-old son Ilyas. Becoming a father has provided perspective to the anguish he has faced professionally. His faith has also helped during some tough times.
Does his mind ever wander back to those days at Liverpool? Does he think about what might have been?
“I used to, but I’m a Muslim and I believe now that everything happens for a reason. I’m not angry or upset,” he says.
“I just wanted to be a footballer. I didn’t dream of being the next Messi or Ronaldo. I wasn’t in it to earn many millions. I just wanted to get good money to help my family. I have a house with my wife and child. And my parents have a house, so I’ve been able to achieve that.
“The first three months with our son were really hard because he had some problems with his stomach and cried a lot but now everything is going well. Everyone is healthy and happy, and that’s the most important thing to me.
“Krefeld is a small city but it’s a nice, quiet place to live. I’m still a big Liverpool supporter and I watch all the games. I love Jurgen Klopp. He’s the perfect manager for Liverpool. I can’t wait to come back to Anfield as a fan one day.
“But I’m not finished with football myself yet. I haven’t given up. I’m still only 27. My target is to get back up there again. If I can stay fit, I know I will do it.”
(Top photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)
James Pearce joins the Athletic after 14 years working for the Liverpool Echo. The dad-of-two has spent the past decade covering the fortunes of Liverpool FC across the globe to give fans the inside track on the Reds from the dressing room to the boardroom. Follow James on Twitter @JamesPearceLFC.
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Old 06-09-21, 11:21 AM   #4347
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From the Athletic

Samed Yesil should be entering his prime.
He was one of the biggest talents of his generation in Germany. He made his Bundesliga debut for Bayer Leverkusen when he was just 17.
His prolific goalscoring at youth level for club and country earned him the nickname ‘Gerd’, after legendary striker Gerd Muller.
Liverpool paid Leverkusen £1 million to sign him at age 18 in the summer of 2012 and he was soon rubbing shoulders with Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez at Melwood.
He had the world at his feet.
Now 27, Yesil’s life is far removed from the bright lights of the Premier League.
Living in the city of Krefeld, north west of Dusseldorf, with wife Gonca and their young son Ilyas, he plays for DJK Teutonia St Tonis in the Oberliga Niederrhein, a regional league in the fifth tier of German football who train three times a week. From 7am until 3:30pm Monday to Friday, he works in a factory, building air filters.
“It’s an amateur league, but it’s still a good league to improve yourself and get fit,” Yesil tells The Athletic.
“We’ve taken four points out of six so far this season and I’ve got a few assists, so I want to build on that. It depends who we are facing but usually we get crowds of around 200 to 300. I’m sure if I can play 30 games this season and score 15 to 20 goals then I will move back up the leagues again.
“The president of the club gave me a job in his company. I need to try ways into life post-football, in case I don’t get back into a professional league.”
To say that Yesil has been dealt a bad hand would be an understatement.
Devastating injury setbacks wrecked his time at Liverpool and since his contract there expired in 2016 he’s led a nomadic existence. However, despite all the adversity he’s been faced with, his spirit hasn’t been broken. He is engaging company as he relives a journey that cruelly veered off track after such a promising start.
“Growing up, it was always my dream to become a footballer,” says Yesil, as he perches on the edge of his sofa.
“I played for a small team in Dusseldorf before Leverkusen spotted me when I was 11 or 12. I signed my first professional contract with them when I was 16. That was the age when I first started playing for Germany.
“Emre Can, a good friend of mine, was in my age group. So too was Kaan Ayhan, who now plays for (Serie A side) Sassuolo and (has over 40 caps for) the Turkey national team, and Odysseas Vlachodimos, who now plays for Benfica and Greece.”
Yesil scored an impressive 20 goals in 22 appearances for Germany Under-17s. He was joint top-scorer at the Under-17 European Championship in 2011 as Germany lost the final to a Netherlands team including Memphis Depay, now starring for the Dutch senior side and Barcelona, and Manchester City’s Nathan Ake.
He was second-leading goalscorer in the Under-17 World Cup later that same summer after finding the net on six occasions. He scored twice in a quarter-final win over an England side featuring Raheem Sterling and Jordan Pickford before Germany succumbed to hosts Mexico in the last four.
“When people started calling me ‘Gerd’, I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t even know who Gerd Muller was. He played before I was born,” he says.
“But I started to Google him and I watched all his goals. I realised then what a big honour it was. I could see that we were similar strikers in that all his goals were scored from inside the box — in my career, I think I’ve only ever scored one goal from outside the box.
“I never felt pressure because of that comparison. I only took it as a compliment when they said I was like him.”
samed-yesil
Samed Yesil was prolific for Germany’s youth teams (Photo: Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/GettyImages)
Former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia was the manager who gave Yesil his senior bow for Leverkusen against Hertha Berlin in April 2012. He had forced his way into the first-team squad by scoring 58 goals in 74 games for the club’s under-17 and under-19 teams.
“There was a lot of attention on me but I was just really happy to be involved at such a young age,” he says. “I’d been on the bench a few times before I got on. When I heard my name called out, I was so pleased. Sami was a good coach. In every training game, he played as a centre-back. Even though he was quite old (Hyypia was 39!) you could still see what a great defender he was.”
That summer, Liverpool came calling. Brendan Rodgers had just taken over as manager. Yesil had recently turned 18.
“I’d always wanted to play in England one day, but I didn’t think it would happen to me when I was so young,” he admits.
“I was thinking more like when I was 25 or 26 but I was also happy that it happened. At the time, I didn’t know Liverpool were watching me and I was thinking of a transfer to maybe another club in the Bundesliga.
“I only found out I was signing for Liverpool when I went to the airport and my agent showed me the flight tickets. It was a big surprise that they wanted me.
“I never thought about clubs watching me when I did well at those international tournaments with Germany. Sometimes I’d read in the newspapers, ‘Arsene Wenger is trying to sign Samed Yesil for Arsenal’. But I never asked my agent if it was true. I just continued to play.
“As soon as my agent told me that Liverpool wanted me, I just wasn’t interested in any other clubs. It was an easy decision to make. It was Liverpool. My mind was made up.
“I moved over with my cousin. His English was much better than mine, so he helped me a lot with all the paperwork for things. At first, I lived in the Sefton Park area and then I moved to an apartment in the city. Everyone was so friendly. Liverpool was a nice place to live.”
Yesil was initially based with the under-21s squad at the Kirkby academy but during the September international break he returned home and played in an under-19s friendly against an England team featuring Pickford, Sterling, Eric Dier, John Stones and James Ward-Prowse. He scored two goals and created the other in a 3-1 win.
samed-yesil
Yesil celebrates scoring past England’s Jordan Pickford in the 2011 Under-17 World Cup (Photo: Francisco Estrada/LatinContent via Getty Images)
“Adam Morgan and Raheem, who were both already part of the first-team squad at Liverpool, played in that game,” he recalls.
“When I flew back to Liverpool, I got a message from one of the coaching staff to say that, from the following day onwards, I would be training with the first team at Melwood rather than going to Kirkby.
“It was like a dream. I only knew these players from the PlayStation and from watching games on TV. Now I was sharing a dressing room with Suarez, Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. I needed a few weeks to realise that it was really happening.
“Brendan was so good. He always wanted to play football. Never long balls, always to play it short from the goalkeeper forwards and build attacks. I liked that.
“I remember he said to me that when I’d learned good enough English he would give me a chance in the first team. So I got myself an English teacher who came to my apartment three times a week. After about four weeks, my English was good. I went to Brendan and said, ‘Coach, my English is much better now.’ He said, ‘OK, you will start in the League Cup against West Brom.’”
On September 26, Yesil led the line for a team including Carragher and Jordan Henderson in front of 21,000 at The Hawthorns. Nuri Sahin scored twice and holders Liverpool advanced with a 2-1 win.
“It was my first game in a full stadium and we were up against Romelu Lukaku, who is now one of the best strikers in the world,” he says. “It was a really good moment for me and one I will never forget. The shirt from that game is on the wall in my parents’ house.”
A month later, he started the next round as Swansea City, the eventual winners, beat Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield. It proved to be his second and final senior appearance for the club.
samed-yesil
Yesil stretching next to Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher at Melwood (Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
“I know we lost but that night was something really special for me. It was amazing to play in front of the Kop. It’s difficult to find the right words for what it was like. You have to be on that pitch to feel it like that.
“As the coach started to trust me more, I felt more comfortable. I started to know my team-mates better and I spoke to more of them. I felt like I had become part of the squad.
“I knew I still had a lot to improve but I wanted to learn and get more minutes. In Suarez, I was learning from one of the best strikers in the world. How he trained, how he finished, it was incredible.”
Yesil’s problems began the following February.
He was playing for Germany Under-19s in a friendly away to their Italy counterparts when he tore the ACL in his right knee.
“The game wasn’t played on grass. It was on an artificial pitch and as I went to change direction, my leg stopped and my knee turned,” he says. “There was some pain but I didn’t think it was serious. I actually played on. After the game, I went to see the doctor. He did all the tests and said it was probably just a bit painful because of the pitch.
“When I got back to Liverpool I went out to train but, after about 20 minutes, I had to stop because the pain was so bad. They sent me for an MRI scan and that showed my ACL was badly damaged. I went to London for an operation.”
After eight months out, Yesil made his comeback for Liverpool Under-21s against Tottenham in the October. He was desperate to make up for lost time and force his way back into Rodgers’ plans. However, just three months later, his world came crashing down once again.
“During a training session at Liverpool, I went to run back and my knee twisted. I heard a big ‘boom’ noise,” he says. “I knew it was the same injury. Same ACL, same knee. It swelled up so much.
“Everyone has a different opinion about why it happened again. Some say it happened because my rehab wasn’t so good and maybe I started back too early. Others say maybe the operation didn’t go so well.
“The second time, I decided to have the surgery done in Germany by the specialist who operates on all the national-team players. I have to say a big thank you to Liverpool for respecting my wishes on that. They also let me do my rehab in Germany, which was fantastic of them.”
Yesil was sidelined for another 10 months. Mentally, that second rehab stint was much tougher.
“Before the first ACL injury, I’d never even suffered a twisted ankle,” he says. “I went from never getting injured to doing my ACL twice.
samed-yesil
Yesil’s promising Liverpool career was wrecked by successive ACL injuries in the same knee (Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)
“The first time I thought, ‘OK, I can use this time to work on my body and get stronger.’ But the second time I really thought about quitting playing football completely. I knew I’d be out for so long. I was lucky I had great friends and family who stayed always behind me. They kept pushing me and gave me the strength to come back again.”
Yesil returned to action for Liverpool Under-21s against Sunderland in August 2014. By then, fellow striker Suarez had left for Barcelona, with Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli being signed to compete with Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge for places up front.
Rodgers wasn’t exactly blessed with firepower but Yesil struggled to regain both form and fitness. He made 11 appearances under Michael Beale — now Gerrard’s assistant at Rangers — in Premier League 2 that season, scoring three times.
“When I’d been in Germany for the rehab I’d started to eat not so healthy things and I put on some kilos, so I needed to lose some weight. Plus, in my head, when I went into a tackle, I just wasn’t 100 per cent. I was thinking, ‘What if it happens again?’ I was scared. I knew if my ACL went for a third time, I’d never be able to play again.”
In the summer of 2015, as he began the final year of his contract, Yesil jumped at the chance to join Luzern on a season-long loan. The Swiss club were managed by former Liverpool full-back Markus Babbel.
“At first, I was thinking I could do well there and still have a future at Liverpool. I knew the coach at Luzern from my national team. He knew what kind of footballer I was. The first game I started for them, we won 1-0 (against FC Zurich) and I scored the goal. I was thinking, ‘I’m back’.
“But then there were some issues between the coach and the president. Two new strikers came in and I became number three or four. It was really difficult. Long balls, strikers who are two metres tall winning headers, I’m not the striker to play that kind of football.”
Having scored just that one goal in 14 Swiss Super League games, Yesil faced an uncertain future after being released by Liverpool at the end of his contract the following summer. He was without a club for six months before joining Panionios in Greece in January 2017.
His first full season with the Athens side was promising, as he scored eight goals in 31 appearances in all competitions in 2017-18. The problems he encountered came off the field rather than on it.
“The only reason I left was because payments were either late or they ‘forgot’ to pay me completely,” Yesil says. “They would pay you in January and then there would be nothing until October or November. It was not easy to live with no money. I had to change clubs again.”

Panionios’s failure to settle their debts with the Greek government as well as with players and staff led to the club being demoted from the professional leagues to the amateur ranks. Now they are back in the second tier under new ownership, Yesil is on the verge of reaching a financial settlement with them.
After a spell with third-tier Uerdingen in his home city of Krefeld, Yesil headed to Turkey to sign for second division Ankara Demir in January of last year. But he played just 141 minutes of football for them in seven appearances either side of the pandemic shutdown before joining Homberg, a fourth-tier side in Duisburg, just a few miles north of Krefeld, last October.
“It’s not easy when you are having to move all the time,” he admits. “I’m someone who likes to travel but I was married by then and for my wife it was difficult. You bring your stuff and then a few months later you have to pack everything up and go somewhere else. You reach a point where you just want to be settled.”
This summer, after 22 games and two goals for Homberg, Yesil dropped down a division to sign for Teutonia St Tonis.
When he’s not on a shift at the KSI Filtertechnik factory or training, he’s spending time with six-month-old son Ilyas. Becoming a father has provided perspective to the anguish he has faced professionally. His faith has also helped during some tough times.
Does his mind ever wander back to those days at Liverpool? Does he think about what might have been?
“I used to, but I’m a Muslim and I believe now that everything happens for a reason. I’m not angry or upset,” he says.
“I just wanted to be a footballer. I didn’t dream of being the next Messi or Ronaldo. I wasn’t in it to earn many millions. I just wanted to get good money to help my family. I have a house with my wife and child. And my parents have a house, so I’ve been able to achieve that.
“The first three months with our son were really hard because he had some problems with his stomach and cried a lot but now everything is going well. Everyone is healthy and happy, and that’s the most important thing to me.
“Krefeld is a small city but it’s a nice, quiet place to live. I’m still a big Liverpool supporter and I watch all the games. I love Jurgen Klopp. He’s the perfect manager for Liverpool. I can’t wait to come back to Anfield as a fan one day.
“But I’m not finished with football myself yet. I haven’t given up. I’m still only 27. My target is to get back up there again. If I can stay fit, I know I will do it.”
(Top photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images)
James Pearce joins the Athletic after 14 years working for the Liverpool Echo. The dad-of-two has spent the past decade covering the fortunes of Liverpool FC across the globe to give fans the inside track on the Reds from the dressing room to the boardroom. Follow James on Twitter @JamesPearceLFC.
I just spent about an hour copying that on my phone and you got it in ahead of me

Good article and shows his things can go wrong
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Old 09-09-21, 12:29 AM   #4348
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Old 09-09-21, 12:40 AM   #4349
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Imagine being that shit you're sacked from some no-mark Indian team..

I think he should retire from management.
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Old 09-09-21, 01:02 AM   #4350
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Dude you can’t speak about God like that
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Old 09-09-21, 05:51 PM   #4351
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Who could possibly have predicted it would go this way
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That were absolute diabolical
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Old 09-09-21, 06:37 PM   #4352
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To be honest and this isn’t a slight against India - as I love the people and country. I don’t think I could live there for more than a year or two, the culture is just too different to what I’m used to.
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Old 09-09-21, 07:14 PM   #4353
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Dude you can’t speak about God like that


Even if he is shit
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Old 11-09-21, 02:52 PM   #4354
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Saw first hand Fowler as a manager here with Brisbane in the A league. Not the biggest fan. Did sort the defence out which was unbelievably bad the season before but it took until the second half of the season to score a goal in the first half.

They were so negative. He played 3 at the back but his wingbacks were more defensive then your standard fullbacks, offered nothing in attack so really was just a flat back 5.

It did pick up second half of the season and had a good finish. His behaviour on the sidelines wasn’t good enough though, whining about everything and his assistant was even worse just abused the officials non stop for 90 minutes. I sat behind where they were and his assistant, Tony Grant, made Jose and managers like them look well behaved. Not a fan of that type of approach especially when it’s about literally every single decision not just a few.

Then when COVID hit said he had to leave because his family needed him in England which was fair enough but then took a job in India not long after and sued the club for money. Lost a lot of respect for him with it all and I was so excited when he signed.
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Old 13-09-21, 06:36 AM   #4355
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Old 13-09-21, 07:17 AM   #4356
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Shaq looking happy
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