Fulham teenager Emerson Hyndman modelling his game after former Tottenham star Luka Modric

Fulham Turnstiles

The 19-year-old American is working to become a more all-round midfielder like the now-Real Madrid playmaker.

Fulham midfielder Emerson Hyndman has told the Guardian how he is trying to model his game after Real Madrid and ex-Tottenham Hotspur star Luka Modric.

Hyndman, 19, made his professional debut in Fulham’s Championship opener against Ipswich Town back in August, before going on to earn a shock call-up and first US national team cap just a few weeks later in a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.

The American teenager would go on to make 11 total appearances for Fulham over the course of the campaign but could have featured more had he not fractured his collarbone at the Under-20 CONCACAF Championship this winter.

Nevertheless, he is now back fit and set to captain the US at the Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, which kicks-off this weekend, where he will hope to showcase his lauded potential to the wider footballing world.

The Texas-native has made a concerted effort to become a more all-round midfielder since arriving in England in 2011, trialling with the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle United before settling on Fulham, and has been looking to Modric for inspiration in the meantime.

“Coming to Fulham I was a sole No. 10,” said Hyndman. “I didn’t defend much I was pure attack. As I’ve grown into the English game I’ve settled more into a No. 8 role – playing both sides of the ball. If you’re looking for a player reference, I try to play a little bit like a [Luka] Modric type of player.”

 2014-15 Championship GoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal TacklesInterceptionsTouchesBall RecoveriesDispossessedAppearancesMins Played
Emerson Hyndman 0 0 9 415 89% 16 6 496 36 5 9 650

Former Fulham manager Felix Magath in fact compared Hyndman’s passing skills to those of Italian legend Andrea Pirlo during his time at the club, while US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has also sung his praises on several occasions since handing him his senior debut.

“Emerson is phenomenal,” Klinmann told the Telegraph in November. “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’s barely 18. I said to my coach: ‘Are you seeing what I’m seeing?’ Everyone was like ‘woah’.”

Hyndman is just as enthusiastic about Klinsmann, adding: “He’s a great coach and great guy. I went to camp being 18 years old – I was a little nervous. He took those nerves right out of me, told me to try my best. I was there to learn the system was like with the senior national team.”

Hyndman’s potential has not gone unnoticed across Europe since his first-team breakthrough and German giants Borussia Dortmund are now reported to be keeping close tabs on him [h/t Goal USA], along with clubs in both La Liga and the Eredivisie.

A run of impressive performances in New Zealand this summer could well turn a few more heads and, with his Fulham contract set to expire in 2016, the west London outfit might find themselves entertaining a few enticing offers in the near future.

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