Goalkeeper who Liverpool 'signed for £1 million' when he was 16 is now without a club
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A highly-rated goalkeeper who joined Liverpool for a reported seven-figure sum at 16 is currently without a club.
Back in early December 2011, Greenwich-born shot-stopper Yusuf Mersin signed a youth contract with one of the world's biggest clubs after impressing at then-Championship side Millwall.
Mersin, who was studying for his GCSE's at the time, moved to Merseyside for a hefty fee, according to reports.
“The papers were saying I cost £1 million,” Mersin told KentOnline, 12 years on. “It’s nice to have that, although I didn’t see any of the money. It’s mad looking back, thinking about it now.”
The 28-year-old added: "It was all a bit surreal at the time. I was still at school and suddenly I was leaving everything behind to start a new life up north. I didn’t really know what was going to happen."
Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish even called Mersin's dad to congratulate him on his son's impressive achievement.
But three years later, after making appearances for the under-18's and under-21's, the goalkeeper failed to earn a new deal.
“I’ll be honest, I thought I was close to getting a new deal,” said Mersin. “But the keeper they pushed is playing for Leicester now, Danny Ward, and he’s done better than I have in his career, so they made the right decision."
He added: "At the end of my contract I was verbally told I would probably get a new deal but I went over on my ankle badly and injured myself, which did for that.
“Mignolet drove me home from Melwood to where I was staying and he didn’t have to do that. He was a great keeper and a great man, so I’ll always remember that."
Mersin went on to sign for Turkish side Kasımpaşa before spells at Crawley Town, Dover Athletic and Maidstone United.
He then spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan at National League South side Welling Town but after making just a handful of appearances at The Bauville Stadium, he will be released from recently-relegated Maidstone at the end of his contract in June.
Despite a number of setbacks in his career to date, Mersin looks back at his spell with Liverpool with great fondness.
“It was an unbelievable time, going into these team meetings, an unbelievable experience," he says. “I still feel attached to the club now.
“My missus is Scouse and all her family are mad football fans, and I still speak to the first-team goalkeeper coach, John Achterberg, and some of the other guys there.”
The experienced goalkeeper, who made appearances for Turkey at under-17 and under-18 level, will be on the lookout for a new club in the coming weeks.