Liverpool have announced a first professional contract for U18 striker Melkamu Frauendorf, who impressed in his first season after moving from Hoffenheim.
Frauendorf moved from Hoffenheim last year, agreed on a first-time scholarship with the Reds and was accepted into Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18 squad.
The 17-year-old caught the eye early on, but injuries hampered his progress in the middle of the season. He eventually scored seven goals and provided four assists in 23 games.
Only four players scored more than Frauendorf in Liverpool’s academy ranks, with the German youth national player shooting against Ipswich and Aston Villa in the semi-finals and in the final of the FA Youth Cup.
The youngster, born in Ethiopia, represents Germany, who moved there with his family as a child and in the past wore the captain’s armband of his country.
As a versatile striker who can also play in midfield, Frauendorf has already trained with the first team several times, but is expected to start the new season with the U18.
After Mateusz Musialowski, Harvey Davies, Fabian Mrozek, Luke Chambers and Oakley Cannonier, he is the last person to sign a first professional contract with the club this summer.
In conversation with the Liverpool echo Last year, Fraundorf’s old Hoffenheim coach Danny Galm celebrated his former protégé as a “special player”.
“Mel is a very flexible player. He is uncomplicated with good technique and very, very good stamina. He didn’t score the most goals, but he was involved in almost all offensive actions, ”said Galm.
“He was a very important player for me who often introduced decisive moments with his dynamic and straight dribbling.
“I’m not a fan of comparing players with others, but Mel is a special player. He is quick and has good stamina and he wants to learn but is creative.
“He’ll be physically developing and growing over the next few months [in responsibility] in Liverpool. I will follow his development and hope that he will soon experience the spirit of Anfield.