Name: Sercan Yıldırım
Debut: 16/09/07 v İstanbul BB SK (Super League)
Position: Forward or attacking midfielder
Date of birth: 05/04/90
With pace, acceleration and the versatility to play in several attacking positions, Sercan Yıldırım is one of the hottest prospects in the Turkish game.
Only ten when he joined the Green Crocodiles, he made his senior debut in September 2007. By 2008/09, he was a first-team regular, scoring 11 goals in 30 league games. Injuries restricted him to four goals from 21 league outings last season, when Bursaspor won the league for the first time in their history.
Sercan stands 1.83m tall and his blend of power and skill arguably make him Bursaspor coach Ertuğrul Sağlam's chief weapon. He has the ability to lead the line as a centre-forward but can also operate as a withdrawn striker or attacking midfielder, and thrives on quick passes behind and around a static defence – an important asset given the increased trend for counterattacking football in the European game. Facing goalkeepers, he has sound technique with both feet and the composure to pass the ball into the net. He is equally deft with his head.
Bursaspor 2-0 Gençlerbirliği SK
31 August 2008, Turkish Super League
Sercan signalled not just his growing maturity but his ability to turn a match when, in the second game of the 2008/09 campaign, he struck two second-half goals. He had started the season on the bench but was a regular after that.
"To be named man of the match is a great honour, especially as I'm just 20 years old and the Champions League is such a massive competition. I have had a taste and would love to have more. We have learned a lot during this campaign and I hope Bursaspor can take part in the competition again in the near future and improve by doing so. The goal that I scored was like a new beginning to my career."
After finding the net in the 1-1 draw with Rangers FC on Matchday 6.
"If he can keep up this pace and raise his desire to work harder during training, he could become a very important player, but he needs to work very hard and improve. Sercan is very fast, has good ball control and can tackle well. There is no such thing as perfection; you can always improve. Even the best players need to continue working.
Ertuğrul Sağlam, Bursaspor coach
"Of course, Sercan can miss opportunities. People shouldn't criticise him too harshly. Even I had times when I missed chances in matches. If you put pressure on youngsters, there is a danger of losing them. Sercan is a very good player and I'm confident he'll take Bursaspor far.
Okan Yılmaz, former Bursaspor striker and Turkish Super League top scorer in the 2000/01 and 2002/03 seasons.
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