LUEBECK, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 06: Samed Yesil (R) of Germany celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Under 19 international friendly match between Germany and England at Stadion an der Lohmuehle on September 6, 2012 in Luebeck, Germany.(Photo by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/GettyImages)
Liverpool's slate of internationals got underway today, with six youngsters spread out between the U21 Euro qualifier against Azerbaijan and the friendly for England and Germany in Hamburg. Most of attention ended up on the new boy, who was taking part in his first match since joining the club, but all were involved for significant portions of their respective matches.
Azerbaijan 0, England 2: Jordan Henderson captained Stuart Pearce's side and played a full ninety in the midfield, while Jonjo Shelvey provided the assist for Steven Caulker in the 28th minute with a free kick and killed the match off with one of his own in the 83rd. Martin Kelly also put in a full shift during the win, which sees England temporarily go five points clear of Norway in the top spot in Group 8. They'll host the Norwegians on Monday to wrap up qualifying, needing a victory to secure automatic progress into the playoffs (Norway lead 1-0 at the time of writing).
Germany 3, England 0: Both Raheem Sterling and Adam Morgan started for Noel Blake--who is not Stuart Pearce, for those of you following us on Twitter--and Samed Yesil, who turned out to be the only Liverpool signing in the final hours of the transfer window, led the attack for the hosts. From what I was able to see It was a frustrating night for the English boys, with Sterling unable to produce much from the left wing, often with multiple German defenders tracking him, and Morgan putting in a typical hard-working shift up top that ultimately led to nothing.
The day belonged to Yesil, though, as he scored Germany's first two and played in Sebastian Kerk for the third. He quickly took a couple of wonderful touches to give himself space for the first and blasted a left-footed strike past Jordan Pickford; the second was the type of goal that Liverpool have desperately been in need of the past few seasons--chance well-created and well-saved, but a follow-up from a tight angle that didn't hit the post or fly into the side netting.
His performance probably means little moving forward, as it's unlikely he's going to be able to break through in the short-term. But if he keeps it up in training and takes the chances he does get, whether it's with the reserves or late in Europa League or League Cup matches, his estimate of having a consistent impact on the first team in one or two years might turn out to be dead on.