In recent years, football has seen a rise in the number of feeder leagues. These leagues are experts at finding young talents, developing them into stars, and selling them to a top league club for a high price. One of the newest entries to the feeder leagues is the Turkish Super Lig.
The league, in recent years, has started to develop several youngsters, such as the Turkish Ozil Arda Guler and Feyenoord defender Orkun Kokcu. And this year, another name has joined the list; Efe Akman. The 16-year-old defensive midfielder is a product of the famed Galatasaray youth system.
Efe Akman comes from a family of footballers, with his father Ayhan representing Galatasaray for more than 200 matches in a career where he played over 400 games. Ayhan also made 22 appearances for the Turkish national football team.
Efe Akman’s cousin Ali is on loan to Turkish football club Goztepe from German club Eintracht Frankfurt, while his brother Hamza also plays for the Galatasaray youth side.
So, who is Efe Akman, and how good is he?
Who is Efe Akman?
Efe Akman was born on March 20, 2006, in Istanbul, Turkey, when his father played for Galatasaray. Thus, Akman’s footballing journey started at the club, where he was enrolled at a very young age. As a result, Akman made rapid progress through the youth ranks.
This also caught the interest of the national team set-up, and Efe Akman was given a call-up to the under-16 team. He made 13 appearances for the team in international friendlies and also played in two matches at the 2022 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, where Turkey crashed out in the group stage.
In the current season, he has got a promotion at both the club and country levels. For Galatasaray, he was promoted to the under-19 side while he was given a call-up to the under-17 national football team.
Efe Akman has grabbed the chances with both hands delivering brilliant performances and alerting several clubs in the top European league who are already contacting Galatasaray over the availability of the teenager.
🗣️ Burhan Can Terzi:
— Galatasaray Haberleri 🔥🔥 (@Gshaber1905__) February 16, 2023
Efe Akman stats
This season Efe Akman has been given a run of games in the under-19 side, playing 457 minutes across six matches in the league. And his performances have been integral to his team’s league form, where they are nine points ahead of second-placed Fenerbahce. The team are also yet to lose any match where Akman has played, winning five and drawing one game.
He has also played four times in the UEFA Youth League. In addition, he has also played international friendlies and represented them in three 2022 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifications, where he scored one (against Switzerland) and created another (against San Marino).
Efe Akman positioning and style of play
At the youth levels, a player is usually not played in a specific position, and this has been the case with Efe Akman. While he is a defensive midfielder, Akman has played as a central and attacking midfielder.
One of the reasons Efe is highly rated is his pace and brilliant passing, which is rarely seen in a defensive midfielder at such a young age. The combination of these two skills allows him to move the ball forward quickly, and without it, enables him to run up and down the pitch contributing both in attack and defence. His vision for spotting gaps in the opposition’s defence is also excellent for his age.
However, there are areas for improvement in his game, the chief of which is his hesitancy to get involved physically. Despite being a number six, Akman rarely looks confident while going for a tackle and, at times, is easily outmuscled by the opposition. This is something that he will have to work on.
Efe Akman transfer news
Efe Akman has not even made a single senior team appearance. Still, such is his talent that Italian giants AS Roma are already looking to add him to their ranks along with his teammate Yusuf Demir. Moreover, the two clubs are currently involved in a deal for the sale of Nicolo Zaniolo. And now La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Roma want the two youngsters in exchange for Zaniolo.
AS Roma will have an option/priority clause on two Turkish talents as part of Zaniolo deal with Galatasaray 🟡🔴🇹🇷 #ASRoma
▫️ Yusuf Demir, 2003, midfielder, former Barcelona player;
▫️ Efe Akman, 2006, midfielder, considered Turkish top talent. pic.twitter.com/qHklHSLLdy
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 8, 2023
This is a special acknowledgement of Efe Akman’s talent. However, he still has to go a long way before he could think about becoming the next big star to come out of the Turkish youth system.