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Whatever happened to former Liverpool youngster Samed Yesil?

Brendan Rodgers made Samed Yesil one of his first Liverpool signings back in 2012, but whatever happened to the former German prospect?

When Brendan Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool manager in 2012, the Northern Irishman wasted no time in entering the transfer market, bringing in the likes of Joe Allen, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.

However, Rodgers, known for showing a preference to younger talent, also pushed through a £1m deal for 18-year-old Bayer Leverkusen talent Samed Yesil, a striker who had finished as top goalscorer in the Under-17 European Championship and runner-up at the Under-17 World Cup.

All things considered, it was quite a coup to secure the services of someone who had netted 20 goals from 21 appearances for his country at that level, a run which was followed with eight goals from seven outings with the Under-19s.

While Yesil was naturally provided with some bedding-in time during his early months at Anfield, Rodgers did not shy away from showing faith in the teenager, who was given his senior debut in a League Cup tie at West Bromwich Albion less than a month after his arrival.

The prospect got 81 minutes under his belt in a 2-1 victory at The Hawthorns, with another 45 minutes coming his way in the next round at home to Swansea City.

However, that was as good as it got for Yesil. After a prolonged spell in the academy setup, he sustained a serious knee injury while representing his country. Having initially made his return in the reserves after an eight-month layoff, Yesil suffered the same injury in training, something which effectively ended any chance of a successful career at Liverpool.

Samed Yesil playing for Liverpool in 2012.© Reuters

At the end of August 2015, exactly three years after first arriving on Merseyside, Yesil was allowed to go out on a season-long loan to Swiss side Luzern. Despite the contrasting surroundings, it allowed the frontman to feel part of a first-team squad for the first time in over two years.

Having only scored one goal - in his third appearance - from three starts and 11 substitute outings, Yesil returned to Liverpool where he was subsequently released, a development which he would have acknowledged was inevitable.

Yesil did not resurface until the start of 2017, penning a two-and-a-year contract with Greek top-flight team Panionios. For the first time in his career, regular appearances came in the starting lineup, with four goals being netted from his 20 starts and 13 substitute appearances in the league.

Although everything appeared to be on an upward trajectory, Yesil would leave Panionios in September 2018 and soon find himself in obscurity. During the 2018-19 campaign, he spent just 10 minutes on the pitch during a loan spell at German third-tier team Uerdingen 05, a period which led to him being without a club and having to maintain his fitness at fifth-tier outfit TSV Meerbusch.

Before football was brought to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, Yesil was plying his trade in the Turkish third division with Ankara Demirspor. Four of his five appearances have been as a replacement, further highlighting how one of the most promising careers at the time had turned into a disaster.

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Samed Yesil of Liverpool competes with Ashley Williams of Swansea City during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on October 31, 2012
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