Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel wants teenage winger Emre Mor to be patient as he “learns the job” of being a professional footballer.
Danish-born Turkey international Mor signed a five-year contract last June when he joined Dortmund from FC Nordsjaelland.
The 19-year-old went on to feature for Turkey at Euro 2016, cementing his status as one of the continent’s premier young talents and marked his Bundesliga debut with a goal in the 6-0 thrashing of Darmstadt.
Mor has failed to find the net since, however, and has been restricted to 14 appearances across all competitions.
He has not featured in a matchday squad since recovering from a muscular injury last month – cutting a contrast to fellow teenagers Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele, who starred in Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Benfica that sealed progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“He’s an incredible talent. We won’t change our opinion of that but he came to us after half a pro season in Denmark,” said Tuchel, who told a pre-match news conference he may shuffle his line-up for Saturday’s Bundesliga trip to Hertha Berlin following Dortmund’s midweek exertions.
“The transition for him is huge. Of course there are ups and downs in his performances.
“He has to learn the job of being a professional footballer. He needs to be patient.
“Mor can become a special player. He’s working diligently and we’re giving him all the support.”
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) March 10, 2017
Tuchel also had encouraging words for another young player on the fringes of his squad – 20-year-old Spanish midfielder Mikel Merino.
The former Osasuna player was an unused substitute against Benfica and has been a regular fixture in Tuchel’s squad’s over recent weeks – although things might have been different.
“We had talks with Merino in the winter about whether a loan move would make sense but I was strictly against it,” Tuchel said.
“He’s very close to the team, although it might not look like it. Mikel has made a big jump in his development.
“He’s training at a high level. He’ll play an important role for us in the next weeks.”
Dortmund lie third in the Bundesliga, six points behind second-placed RB Leipzig and the same amount clear of their weekend opponents in fifth.
“We have to acknowledge it was an intense match against Benfica that was also mentally draining,” Tuchel added.
“Players who played on Wednesday and have to start tomorrow won’t be on their highest level. We have to find a good mix.”
Dortmund will assess defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Raphael Guerreiro, who are suffering from muscle soreness, but Dembele is fit after being substituted during the closing stages against Benfica with cramp.
Midfielder Sven Bender is back in training following an ankle injury but the trip to Berlin comes too soon for him.
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