Melkamu Frauendorf: Liverpool’s own Frank Lampard?

Talib Haider
By Talib Haider
8 Min Read

Melkamu Frauendorf is a young midfielder who plays for Liverpool’s youth squad. He has been in the spotlight more frequently than not in recent months owing to his outstanding performances for both club and nation off late.


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The 18-year-old German began his football career in the youth squad of German club SV Schefflenz in 2014, and subsequently joined Bundesliga club Hoffenheim on July 1st, 2018 – when he was just 14! Frauendorf showed a lot of promise and ability there, and his ingenuity in the middle was just amazing to see. But it was his versatility that got him noticed; the youngster’s ability to play as a winger as well as an attacking midfielder at the same time earned interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The 2019/20 U17-Bundesliga Süd/Südwest season with Hoffenheim was mostly responsible for his departure to the greener pastures of Merseyside, as Liverpool moved fast to recruit the teenager. In just 20 games that season, Frauendorf scored 5 goals and assisted on another 5, making him a fan favourite.

Prior to joining Liverpool U18s in August 2020, the German Youth International had already made 19 G/A contributions in 39 U17-Bundesliga Süd/Südwest games. Frauendorf has only progressed in the U18s squad under the tutelage of Marc Bridge-Wilkinson since joining Liverpool. In his first season, the midfielder was named to the starting lineup and went on to produce 7 goals (5 goals and 2 assists) in the U18 Premier League.

In most ways, it was a breakthrough season for Frauendorf – getting goal contributions, getting in the starting lineup, and becoming an underlining star of the youth team.

Where does Melkamu Frauendorf play?

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A midfielder (central) by default, but the Ethiopian born German Starlet is much more than just a CM. Over the 2 years in Liverpool so far, and prior to that a few years in Germany as well, coaches have experimented with the 18-year-old in a way that the young star has already played in his usual position and along with that in a cluster of other positions as well – as an AM, LW, RW and even as a CF.

But the fact of the matter is that Frauendorf has been able to do credit in all of these positions without compromising his play style. In the process, coaches discovered that Frauendorf is significantly more actively involved while playing as an AM (attacking midfielder), LW (Left Winger), or RW (right winger) (Right Winger).

Skills and Attributes

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Coming through from the U18 squad, the Ethiopia born German starlet has now even made it into the LFC U21 squad. Melkamu Frauendorf signed a contract this summer with the Liverpool U21s, exactly 2 years after he joined as an U18 academy recruit. Since then, the 18-year-old German midfielder has just made his way into the heart of Barry Lewtas – LFC U21 Coach. Not only this but since his coming he has also left the fans to rave about him on social media.

But, why? Why is the Liverpool fandom, along with his coaches, are all in awe of his talent? Here is an overview of Melkamu Frauendorf’s repertoire of skills;

  • Frauendorf’s elite movement: A speed machine and nimble footed.
  • Frauendorf’s strength on and off the ball.
  • His ability to hit powerful, accurate, drives from distance.
  • Picking out his teammates with a simple pass to keep the play going.

Exactly what these pointers say; the young midfielder has the ability to read the open plays and can adjust accordingly, allowing him to analyse that there is an open window of opportunity for him to make a run into opposition’s half. This has helped Barry Lewtas’s U21 side as well, recently, as they can develop a system similar to what the senior team has under Jurgen Klopp.

In this above shown season highlight video of the 18-year-old midfielder, Frauendorf’s elite movement, beastly acceleration and masterful finishing are all at the show. To be able to do what he does, at such an age, is a miraculous benchmark in itself. Melkamu Frauendorf is hailed as a player who bridges the attack together, and aids fellow attackers, like Cannonier and Blair, by providing them with a much needed support through the overlapping runs causing the opposition’s defence to lose its bearing.

This is what Danny Galm, Frauendorf’s ex-youth coach at Hoffenheim, said about him in an interview with the Liverpool Echo back in 2020: “Mel is a very flexible player. He is straightforward with a good technique and very, very good endurance. He didn’t score the most goals, but he was involved in almost all offensive actions. For me, he was a very important player, who often initiated decisive moments with his dynamic and straight dribbling. I’m not a fan of comparing players to others but Mel is a special player. He is fast and has good endurance, and he wants to learn, but remains creative.”

Author’s take

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With whatever we have currently at our disposal, it seems as if the youngster has what it takes to be “the next Frank Lampard” and “the first & only Melkamu Frauendorf”. While his talent and skillset is still at its earlier stages (is raw), given his age, but the keen eye of the teenager seems to be putting him on the top-tier academy picks.

In no time we could be seeing him play for the senior side, under Jurgen Klopp, just like Harvey Elliott has made his mark now. But consistency is key, and the coming couple of years would be crucial in order to analyse Frauendorf’s overall progress. Having already trained with Liverpool’s senior side so early in his career, the German starlet could take great heart from it as he has to have learnt a lot from that session. Using it to further ameliorate his skills would only make him the cherry picks for Klopp and Pep Lijnders in the following years.

Furthermore, he has already kickstarted his 2022/23 campaign in the same fashion as well – 4 G/A in 12 games overall in different competitions for the U21 side. Frauendorf is becoming a force to be reckoned with, and no wonder he is slowly becoming one of the most popular academy names on the lips of fans around the globe!

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