Ömer Beyaz is 17 years old and has only 228 minutes of play under his belt in the professional field, but the midfielder is on everyone’s lips in Turkey. For the new season, Beyaz is moving from Fenerbahce in Istanbul to VfB Stuttgart.
It is by no means a new finding that the football world in Turkey is a little more chaotic, emotional and excited than in the rest of Europe. There is always a bit of Super League flair there, you could say these days. Just how many players have been called the new “Turkish Messi”!
The next in this dubious row is 17-year-old Ömer Faruk Beyaz, who will move from Fenerbahce in Istanbul to VfB Stuttgart this summer. The Swabians who provide Beyaz with a four-year contract only have to shell out the usual training allowance. Sports director Sven Mislintat describes the midfielder as an “extraordinary talent”, who is one of the most sought-after players in Europe in his year.
Beyaz’s move caused a lot of uproar in Turkey, the teenager is on everyone’s lips. It was very similar five years ago at Emre Mor, when he surprisingly made his debut for the Turkish national team at the age of 18 and drove to the 2016 European Championship a month later. A lot of hype arose around the previously little known Mor, who then moved to Borussia Dortmund, and Turkish football fans were at his feet in no time.
Mor, you can’t say it any other way, then fell in his career – in view of the early praise, perhaps logical? – from. Neither at Celta Vigo, nor at the rental stations at Galatasaray or in Piraeus, did he constantly bring his undoubtedly existing systems onto the pitch.
VfB newcomer Ömer Beyaz “a huge question mark”
Beyaz is now one of the next Turkish promises and it will be interesting to see whether one day he will get a better course of his career than Mor. “He’s a huge question mark,” says SPOX-Columnist and Turkey expert Fatih Demireli. “Not that one does not trust him in the senior sector. In terms of his capabilities, he is a grenade, a technically very fine player and strong as a bear with the ball. But he still has no competition practice or toughness.”
Everyone in Turkey is talking about Beyaz, but as a player he remains a phantom for the moment, “because very few people have seen him play so far,” says Demireli. Turkish youth football is hardly consumed, but it is there that Beyaz has spent most of his career so far.
In 228 professional minutes, divided into five league and three cup games as well as four starting eleven, Beyaz has so far made it into the senior division. Last September he made his debut in the U21 national team, in which he has been used five times since then. Records have already tumbled: at 16 years, ten months and eight days, Beyaz became the second youngest professional debutant in Fener’s club history, and shortly afterwards he was the youngest ever to start. When Emre Belözoglu also passed the captain’s armband to Beyaz on the final match day of the 2019/20 season when he made the final substitution of his career, he was the youngest Fenerbahce captain in history for 13 minutes.
At that time, of course, there was a lot of symbolism in this scene, because Beyaz was supposed to follow in the footsteps of the legend Belözoglu and restore the untitled Fenerbahce to its former glory. But just five months later it was clear last January: Beyaz will not extend his expiring contract and turn his back on the traditional club.
When Beyaz was scouted by several English clubs at a tournament in Turkey around two years ago, they were unanimously of the opinion that the ten lacked the necessary instinct to separate from the ball at the right moment and to stage his teammates. The island clubs did not pursue the personnel any further, but German clubs in particular did not see this deficit as a problem, which could not be straightened out in training.
The 18-year-old Ali Akman will play for Eintracht Frankfurt in the future, like Caglar Söyüncü, who once landed at Freiburg, the striker is moving from the second Turkish league to the Bundesliga. Ozan Kabak, now with Liverpool FC, first went to Stuttgart, in Lille Zeki Celik has become a hot topic, as Merih Demiral is now at Juventus Turin. One reason for the flight of talent is the enormous squad size of the largely badly indebted Süper Lig clubs, 16 foreign players are allowed with a maximum size of 35 players. Nobody in Europe tops that.
One thing is certain: The question mark Beyaz, as Demireli called him, must first be given plenty of time in Stuttgart in order to be able to sustainably create the transition to the senior sector, which has so far been skipped over, or even to be able to take a development like Söyüncü, Kabak and Co.