Although the Bavarian was one of the biggest talents in the youth sector, Kenan Yildiz never played for a DFB youth team. Did the German federation miss a national player?
His talent revealed itself early. When Kenan Yildiz started playing football in his hometown of Regensburg at the age of six, he didn’t stay there for long. Sallern Regensburg was his first club and a few months later he joined Jahn Regensburg. He didn’t stay there long either, because none other than FC Bayern took notice of the attacking talent. In 2012, at the age of seven, Yildiz became record champion.
He played there until the summer of last year. Then, after ten years, his time at Isar ended unexpectedly. But not because the Munich team didn’t believe he could make the jump to the pros. On the contrary. Yildiz sometimes captained his teams, was one of the best players and influenced the game, especially in tenth position.
Bayern did not want to meet Yildiz’s salary demands
The Munich team would like to keep him and introduce him to the starting lineup. But no agreement was reached on a contract extension. The then sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić said when saying goodbye to “Bild” in 2022: “Yildiz is a young and talented player who we would like to continue supporting on his path. your financial demands. This is why Yildiz will unfortunately leave us.”
Yildiz himself recently said it this way in an interview with “Sport Bild”: “They really wanted to keep me, but it was time to move from Munich, the best option was to move to Turin.”
FC Bayern lost a great talent. But the German champions were not alone.
Because Yildiz will not play in a DFB shirt either. Despite strong performances for Munich, the teenager from Regensburg never played for a DFB team. Why? Yildiz, whose father is Turkish and whose mother is German, said: “Germany never approached me, never contacted me. So there was no choice, the issue didn’t come up. I’m very happy to play for Turkey.” He has played for Türkiye since the U17s. Under the command of the new national coach, Vincenzo Montella (in place of Stefan Kuntz), Yildiz even celebrated his debut with the senior team against Croatia in October.
Juventus directly extends contract
That was the reward for his performance at Juventus Turin. With the Italian champions, Yildiz initially recommended himself for higher tasks in the U19 and in the second team, which competes in the third-tier Serie C – and in the long term. Although he was initially given a contract until 2025, this was extended until 2027 a few months ago.
After just a year, the “Old Lady” was completely convinced of Yildiz’s qualities. Above all, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri. This helped him make his professional debut in the first round of the current season. Since then, there have been four more short matches for the first team.
Allegri’s verdict: “He will become a great player.” Yildiz, 1.85 meters tall, has two feet and can be used in different positions in attack. He has brilliant technique and is a goal threat, both as a provider and as a finisher. In his final season at Bayern, he scored four goals in seven games in the U17 Bundesliga and set up a further five goals. In his first season with Juve’s Under-19s, he scored eleven goals and seven assists in 29 games.