Mehmet tipped to shine

West Ham United goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet has been earmarked as one of seven players to watch at this year's FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

The 16-year-old Academy student was in superb form as Turkey reached the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Germany last month, helping his country beat England 1-0 in their final group stage fixture. The victory secured Turkey third place in their group and a passage to the World Cup.

Mehmet also turned in impressive displays against host nation Germany and the Netherlands, but was unable to prevent the Turks from going out at the first hurdle.

Following the tournament, FIFA named Mehmet as one of seven players tipped to make names for themselves at the World Cup, which will be held in Nigeria between 24 October and 15 November 2009.

"Turkey's goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet showed just how much he has learnt at West Ham United's Academy, where he has followed in the footsteps of luminaries such as Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand," read a statement on

Mehmet was highlighted alongside four Germans and two Dutch youngsters. Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 after extra time to lift the trophy in Magdeburg on 18 May.

Werder Bremen forward Lennart Thy and dead-ball specialist Florian Trinks, Liverpool left-back Christopher Buchtmann and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze have all been tipped for great things, as have Feyenoord Rotterdam pair Luc Castaignos and Shabir Isoufi.

Mehmet's heroics in Germany were witnessed by Academy goalkeeping coach Jerome John, who travelled to the tournament to keep tabs on the development of his young charge.

The highly-rated Mehmet could be involved in Tony Carr's Under-18 squad in the 2009/10 season, where he will face stiff competition from Canada Under-20 goalkeeper Adam Street and Peter Loveday.