Midfield | Trabzonspor | Turkey
Having been previously compared with Mesut Ozil (presumably the good version of Ozil, who can single-handedly illuminate games - not the other Ozil, who now occasionally plays for Arsenal), Yazici is widely considered one of the most exciting attacking talents to have emerged from Turkey in recent years.
However, these comparisons are in many ways misguided. Yes, Yazici is an attacking midfielder, and a particularly creative one at that, but he is no Ozil clone. In fact, he is a much more aggressive, physical presence than the 2014 World Cup winner. He has the capacity to bully his opponents and he puts his stocky, 6’0” frame to good use on the pitch.
That being said, the 21-year-old could do with adding a greater degree of defensive diligence to his game, as he all too often becomes a passenger when his team comes under pressure.
There’s been plenty of reported interest in Yazici from major European clubs, including Manchester United and Liverpool. Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger even apparently traveled to watch the youngster play in person.
However, he remains with his boyhood club, Trabzonspor (for whom he wears the No. 97 shirt - which is hard to approve of), for the time being.
2018 has been…
…a mixed bag. Whilst there has certainly been some progress, Yazici perhaps hasn’t made the strides many hoped he would have in this year. He has been a regular starter for Trabzonspor throughout, and has consolidated his place in the Turkish international setup - adding a very respectable six caps to his tally over the course of the last twelve months However, rather than building to a stunning crescendo, the attacking midfielder’s year has rather slumped to a disappointing fade out.
Yazici’s last appearance for his country came as a substitute in September, meaning he hasn’t been picked for the three subsequent competitive Nations League fixtures. What’s more, since the Turkish Super Lig kicked off again in August, Yazici has made 13 appearances, including 11 starts, but has contributed just two assists, and no goals at all.
By way of contrast, in the first half of the year - the tail end of last season - he registered seven goals and two assists in the final ten games of the campaign alone. That’s a significant drop off in form we’ve seen in recent months then, and it certainly alters the complexion of his calendar year as a whole.
Rediscover those shooting boots. Find those levels of end product again. If he can do that, then Yazici will soon find himself amongst the most in-demand youngsters in Europe.
We don’t believe that purple patch was a flash in the pan. He can hit those heights again, and if / when he does then people would be wise to start paying more attention to the Trabzon boy.
Once he’s back amongst the goals, of course, he really needs to start adding a bit of defensive focus and discipline into the mix too.
B - Great start to the year, poor end, but we should all focus on the former