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Thu Apr 24 03:09:27 SAST 2014

Rodgers set to give Liverpool debut to teen star Yesil

Sapa-AFP | 18 September, 2012 16:160 Comments
U19 Germany v U19 Wales - International Friendly
Samed Yesil of Germany celebrates after scoring a goal during the Under-19 international friendly between Germany and Wales at Holstein Stadion on September 10, 2012 in Kiel, Germany
Image by: Oliver Hardt / Bongarts/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is set to hand a debut to teenage striker Samed Yesil in Thursday’s Europa League group clash against Young Boys Berne.

Rodgers will rest several senior stars for the Young Boys tie ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Anfield on Sunday and that opens the way for Yesil to feature against the Swiss side.

The 18-year-old, born to a Turkish family in Dusseldorf, joined Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in a £1 million deal last month after making his name with some impressive performances for Germany at the Under-17 World Cup last year.

Yesil’s rapid development has taken even Rodgers by surprise and the teenager, nicknamed ’Gerd’ after legendary German striker Gerd Muller, will be given an early opportunity to stake his claim for regular first-team action.

“Yesil will certainly be fast-tracked,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “He will be involved in the Europa League game.

“I watched him play against England Under-19s during the international break and he scored two terrific goals and set up another.” 

Rodgers believes the rise of teenage winger Raheem Sterling, who has broken into the Liverpool and England squads aged just 17, has boosted the confidence of Anfield youngsters like Yesil.

“The biggest thing for young players now is that the introduction of Raheem has given the youngsters the one thing in life you want — hope,” Rodgers added.

“I saw it last week after moving a lot of the young players up to the training ground. You could see it in their attitude. They had a spring in their step.

“They feel that they have got a chance and they will get that. There is nothing better than when you see a young kid come through. There will be that chance for Yesil and one or two other boys over these period of months now.”

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