The 'Turkish Messi' or the next Gheorghe Hagi depending who you ask, Trabzonspor midfielder Abdülkadir Ömür has been marked out as one to watch since the age of 13.
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Turkish football has a new starlet rising over the Black Sea. Trabzonspor and Turkey Under-17 midfielder Abdülkadir Ömür is tipped to be one of the hottest properties in Europe having got tongues wagging despite only turning 16 in June.
Name: Abdülkadir Ömür
Club: Trabzonspor AŞ
Debut: yet to make senior debut
Date of birth: 25 June 1999
Preferred foot: left
They say …
He is a creative player but also very good at playing as part of a team. Abdülkadir is the type of midfielder you can turn to when the game is deadlocked – you can take advantage of his intelligence and leadership skills.
Sadi Tekelioğlu, Trabzonspor's head of youth development
If the young generation in Turkey want to be optimistic about football, they should watch Abdülkadir Ömür very carefully. He is a player who we have been following since the age of 13 when he was playing in the local leagues. His performances with the national team deserve attention and are a good example for others.
Mehmet Hacıoğlu, Turkey U17 coach
- Wayne Rooney and Toni Kroos are among the stars who learned their trade in the UEFA European U17 Championship
Born in 1999 in Trabzon, Abdülkadir was discovered when Trabzonspor scouts were touring local schools to identify talented children and arrange trial matches. He managed to impress and was accepted into the club's youth set-up in 2011.
Playing style …
A left-footed playmaker in the classic No10 mould, Abdülkadir has excellent vision, anticipation and technique. He is a clever footballer with pace, though naturally there remains room for him to mature physically. He has scored 37 goals in various youth leagues since the 2012/13 campaign and looks almost ready to take the next step forward. He will still need plenty more guidance.
Shades of …
Some fans like to refer to the teenager as the 'Turkish Messi', while certain coaches have compared his playing style to that of former Romania playmaker Gheorghe Hagi.
Eureka moment …
Abdülkadir captained the Turkey side that reached the elite round of this season's UEFA European U17 Championship. It was the instrumental role he took in the U16s' Aegean Cup triumph earlier this year, however, which first marked him out as one to watch.
Best-case scenario …
Abdülkadir's displays for the Turkey youth teams were so impressive that Trabzonspor striker Óscar Cardozo's agent approached the club in a bid to represent the player. The Black Sea Storm soon tied him down to a three-year professional deal, though, ensuring they will be well recompensed even if he attracts the attention of one of Europe's powerhouses.
He says …
"My heroes are Messi and Iniesta. I like Iniesta because of his intelligence and vision on the pitch. I like Messi because of his free role on the pitch and the fact he beats defenders so easily. I tailor my individual training to be like them."