Bayer Leverkusen have completed the signing of 16-year-old Denmark youth international Zidan Sertdemir from FC Nordsjaelland. bundesliga.com finds out what they're getting...
Club: Bayer Leverkusen (U19s)
Position: Central midfielder
Country: Denmark (four U16 caps, 1 goal)
Sertdemir has signed on the dotted line at the BayArena on a deal through to summer 2024, following a formative stint with the Nordsjaelland youths. The rangy midfielder made 24 appearances in the 2020/21 Danish U19s Boys League, including 18 starts, but more impressive yet was his selection for the reserves when he was still only 15. He enjoyed a 45-minute cameo with Nordsjaelland's second string in autumn 2020, before opening his U19s account in a 3-2 win over Horsens on 8 May 2021.
Despite his Turkish roots, Sertdemir has opted to represent Denmark at youth international level. He scored on his U16s debut in a 2-0 win against Germany, and has since won a further three youth caps, captaining the side in a friendly defeat to Portugal. Such is Leverkusen's confidence in the cultured left-footer, he will spend pre-season with the senior team, before linking up with the U19s for the 2021/22 campaign.
Plays a bit like: Kerem Demirbay
Sertdemir's ability to ghost past his marker and unlock opposition defences from deep with his laser-guided left foot is reminiscent of future Leverkusen teammate Kerem Demirbay. In the same way as the former Turkey youth international - who went on to win the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup with Germany - Sertdemir can also operate in defensive, central and attacking midfield roles.
Did you know?
With the physique to hoodwink the surliest of bartenders, Sertdemir has made a habit of jumping age groups. As far back as 2005, when he was only 10, the Leverkusen teen was kicking about with the U15s.
What they're saying
"Zidan's been on our radar for a few years. We see huge potential in him and believe he'll make his mark on the pro game. He should get a taste of the first team pretty early on, and will be given all the time he needs to get to grips with the highest level." - Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes
"We are, of course, sad that we have to say goodbye to Zidan now, but we're also proud that we are producing such talented players that major European clubs are interested in." - Nordsjaelland sporting director Mikkel Hemmersam