Turkey U17 – Once in a lifetime by @GelisimLigleri
The Dream Team
Some countries like England and France usually have impressive teams at youth national teams. But for countries like Turkey, this isn’t the case. We always have some decent players here and there, but never enough to make a great team. Coaching staff, team selection, and much more causes this disappointing teams. So when you see a team like Turkey U17, who just qualified for the U17 European Championship with impressive games under their resume, you just have to talk about it. So that’s why I am here, trying to explain the wonderkids in this wonderful team, from start to finish.
Ali Turap Bülbül
Ali is an offensive-minded right back, who loves to get inside the penalty box. He has 6 goals in this season so far, with probably 7-8 assists too, but we don’t have the statistics so I can’t be sure. Like a lot of offensive fullbacks, he has some defensive issues too. But with his great athleticism and speed, I believe that he can improve on that side of his game. If he keeps his performance and improvement like this one day he can evolve into a player like Tavernier. Maybe a little bit of a worse scorer, but a similar player to him.
Furkan is a defensive midfielder, who plays like a “regista”. He likes to control the tempo of the game and start the attacks for his team. His vision and passing quality are magnificent, and his ability to take free kicks is great too. Defense is something that he needs to work on, just like Ali. But unlike Ali, I don’t think he can improve his defense that drastically. He will probably always have defensive issues, and he will need some great midfielder partners who can cover him up on defense. One day, when he gets enough experience he can be a player like Biglia and dominate Italian midfield for a long time.
What more can I say about this guy. Shooting, passing, dribbling, vision… This guy, or kid, has it all. With only being 17 years of age, I wonder what is his potential. Maybe he could be a future Ballon D’Or winner, who knows. Anyway, if you somehow haven’t heard of him Arda is a modern “number 8”, who can play as a classic “number 10” as well. He scored 2 goals and had 4 assists in just 285 minutes of playtime for Fenerbahçe. And he has 4 goals and 2 assists for Turkey U17. To be honest, we are very lucky to witness the start of his career. I hope he has a wonderful career, and I know he will.
Kenan Yıldız is an offensive midfielder, who is mainly effective when he is near the goal. He is a really capable scorer and passer, with 9 goals and 8 assists in German Youth Leagues so far. He also showed that he doesn’t crumble under pressure by scoring the winning goal at the Serbia U17-Turkey U17 match that led Turkey U17 to the European Championship. He is great at dribbling too. With his skill and frame, it is really hard to knock him off when he has the ball. Unlike some Turkish youngsters, he is a hard worker. We can say that that’s where the German discipline kicked in. His contract is expiring this year. If he makes a good decision, there is no doubt that he will be a star for his team and his country.
Galatasaray has a wonderful academy. They produce some World-class talents once or twice a generation(even if they can’t properly use them). And Emirhan is one of them. Emirhan is an offensive midfielder, who can play like a “number 8” too. He has an amazing vision and can outlet some amazing passes from time to time. He is also a great scorer, maybe not at the same level as Kenan, but still. He is a bit inconsistent in-game, and the rawest prospect on this list by far, but by just watching him for 10 to 20 minutes, you can tell that he is a special talent. If he fulfills his potential, we may see a perfect modern midfielder, kinda like Bernardo Silva.
Every team needs a great striker, especially when a team has this many great playmakers. Can is originally listed as a “number 10”, but he is playing as a striker in Turkey u17. As you can guess, he is a magnificent striker, with 26 goals under his resume this season. He has a very strong physical for his age and is a great playmaker for his position. He is short for a typical “number 9” is 1.79 m tall. But this doesn’t seem to bother him. With his on and off-ball quality, he can move around near the penalty box like a magician. It’s really hard to compare him to any player because he will probably change his playstyle a lot as he progresses as a player. But no matter where he evolves as a player, he will always be a big factor for Turkey u17.
Of course, like so many teams, this team has weaknesses too. Most importantly on the defensive side. But even with all these weaknesses, this team’s attacking power and incredibly high potential just make you wonder where this team can go…