Although the Bavarian native was one of the best talents in the youth academy, Kenan Yildiz never played for a DFB youth team. Is the German FA missing a national team 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 long. Sallern Regensburg was his first club and a few months later he moved to Jahn Regensburg. He didn’t stay there for long either, because none other than FC Bayern noticed his attacking talent. In 2012, at the age of seven, Yildiz moved to the record champions.
He played there until the summer of last year. Then, after ten years, his stay on the Isar ended unexpectedly. But not because the Munich team didn’t believe he could make the leap to the professionals. On the contrary. Yildiz captained his teams at times, was one of the best players and influenced the game, especially in the tenth position.
Bayern did not want to meet Yildiz’s salary demands
The Munich team wanted to keep him and introduce him to the first team. But no agreement was reached on the 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 have liked to continue supporting in his career. However, we could not and did not want to meet his financial demands. That’s why Yildiz will unfortunately leave us.”
Yildiz himself recently expressed himself like this in an interview with “Sport Bild”: “They really wanted to keep me, but it was time to leave Munich, the best solution was to move to Turin.”
Bayern have lost a great talent. But the German record champions were not alone.
Because Yildiz won’t play in the DFB shirt either. Despite Monaco’s excellent performances, the youngster from Regensburg has 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 question didn’t arise. I’m very happy to play for Turkey”. He has been playing for Turkey since the Under-17s. Under new national team coach Vincenzo Montella (replacing Stefan Kuntz), Yildiz even celebrated his senior debut against Croatia in October.
Juventus directly renews the contract
This was the reward for his performance at Juventus Turin. With the record Italian champions, Yildiz initially recommended himself for higher tasks in the U19 and second team, which competes in the third-class Serie C – and in the long term. Although he initially received 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 on the first day of the current season. Since then there have been four further brief appearances for the first team.
Allegri’s verdict: “He will become a great player.” Yildiz, 1.85 meters tall, is bipedal 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 last season with Bayern, he scored four goals in seven U17 Bundesliga matches and set up another five goals. In his first season in Juve’s U19 there were eleven goals and seven assists in 29 games.