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Liverpool starlet who was wanted by 'many clubs' in Europe signs first professional contract

Liverpool Echo logo Liverpool Echo 21/07/2021 Matt Addison
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Exciting young talent Melkamu Frauendorf has just signed his first professional contract with Liverpool.

The 17-year-old arrived last summer from Hoffenheim in Germany and spent the season with the U18s squad.

He made his mark with many memorable moments during the 2020/21 season at the Academy, including a derby goal against Everton and a winner in the FA Youth Cup semi-final against Ipswich Town.

Frauendorf, who had already captained his country in the younger age groups by the time he came to Anfield, left Germany with the best wishes of Hoffenheim when he moved last year.

It is understood those inside the German club believed that he had made the right choice for his career, and Frauendorf’s familiy - including his brother, Melesse, who plays for Hoffenheim - were convinced that the move was the correct call.

Melkamu was described by one Hoffenheim employee as being ‘very, very close’ to his brother, who he has since been adjusting to being away from for the first time in his life.

Danny Galm, who was Frauendorf’s coach for two years while he played at youth level for Hoffenheim, between summer 2018 and him signing for Liverpool in 2020, spoke exclusively to Blood Red about his former player last year.

He said: "Mel is a very flexible player. He is straightforward with a good technique and very, very good endurance. He didn't score the most goals, but he was involved in almost all offensive actions.


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"For me, he was a very important player, who often initiated decisive moments with his dynamic and straight dribbling.

"I'm not a fan of comparing players to others but Mel is a special player. He is fast and has good endurance, and he wants to learn, but remains creative.

"He will develop physically in the next months and will grow [in responsibility] in Liverpool. I will follow his development and I hope he will soon experience the spirit of Anfield."

Another source who worked closely with Frauendorf at Hoffenheim says that he is shy and quiet off the field. On it, though, he is making a fair bit of noise.

Frauendorf can play in any of the front three positions or as a number 10 - versatile, like first-team stars Roberto Firmino, who was also signed from Hoffenheim, Japanese attacker Takumi Minamino, and now Diogo Jota.

Speaking last year, Galm added: "The step to Liverpool - to a new country, a new city, a new language, without his family - is brave, but I think the time is right for it and he will continue to develop and take the next steps in his career at one of the greatest clubs in the world.

"He is a very interesting person. Friendly, polite, calm but very focused, willing to learn, and an absolute family man.

"How far he can go? We will see, he has everything to achieve his goals, but in addition to talent and mentality, every player also needs the necessary amount of luck. I know he will work hard and I wish him every success and the necessary luck to stay healthy."

Bayern Munich, who had already signed both Mamin Sanyang and Armindo Sieb from Hoffenheim’s academy set-up in 2020, were also thought to be monitoring him. Galm says 'many clubs' around Europe had been watching him closely.

Frauendorf followed the likes of Sepp van den Berg, Harvey Elliott and Ki-Jana Hoever in being snapped up by Liverpool at a very young age prior to them becoming expensive teenage stars.

Though the latter signed for Wolves in a deal that could be worth up to £13.5 million, Liverpool's policy of snapping up the best young talents in world football ahead of them stepping up even to U23s football is seemingly set to continue.

*Some details in this article were originally published in October 2020.

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