US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has labelled Fulham’s American midfielder Emerson Hyndman as a ‘phenomenal’ talent after seeing the 18-year-old make his first-team breakthrough this season.
Having only made his professional debut in Fulham’s Championship opener against Ipswich Town, Hyndman received a surprise call-up to Klinsmann’s squad for the September friendly against the Czech Republic after just two appearances for the Cottagers, earning his first cap as a 67th-minute substitute in Prague.
The Texas-native didn’t make the 25-man roster for the upcoming games against Colombia and the Republic of Ireland, despite the former fixture taking place at his home ground this week, but Klinsmann’s subsequent praise suggests he is an important part of the German’s future plans.
“Emerson is phenomenal. This kid came to our first game after the World Cup, and in our first training session he played like he was always with us,” he told the Telegraph.
“He’s barely 18. I said to my coach: ‘Are you seeing what I’m seeing?’ Everyone was like ‘woah’.”
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His mature performances so far setting him apart from other prospects, Hyndman was even compared to Andrea Pirlo by former manager Felix Magath in September, the departed coach telling Fulham’s official website: “I have never seen a player of his age play like he does; he passes like an old professional.
“I’m sure he will be a good player. His role could be similar to the one that Andrea Pirlo plays, responsible for the forward play of the team from deep.”
His statistics in fact placing him among the Championship’s most accurate passers, Hyndman hasn’t been a regular in the Fulham line-up under new boss Kit Symons, but there is no doubt that he is set for a bright future at both the club and international level.