Dressed exclusively in black Sinan Kurt emerged from the aeroplane. Hertha Berlin’s new signing is wearing a black baseball cap. The label is unobtrusive,but the message clear: "LFDY". Live fast die young. A metaphor for a fledgling career that has yet to truly begin?
It is not so long ago that Kurt was being championed as one of Germany’s great hopes. Much fanfare greeted the then 18-year-old’s move from Borussia Monchengladbach to Bayern Munich but the teenager’s career came to an abrupt halt upon arriving at the Allianz Arena.
It cost the German champions around €2.5 million to secure the services of Kurt who had at that stage not even made his senior debut but earned a reputation as one of Germany’s brightest talents by scoring 16 goals in 24 games for Gladbach’s Under-19 team in 2013-14.
Max Eberl, Gladbach’s director of sport, was furious at the loss of the jewel in his crown, particularly given the acrimonious nature of his departure and the month-long squabble that eventually resulted in Bayern getting their way.
"I am very disappointed by Sinan,” Eberl told SportBild at the time. “We had recently a meeting with Lucien Favre, his adviser, Sinan and me. We talked passionately about his prospects at Borussia. And what happens? Five days later he negotiated with Bayern.”
After just 45 minutes as a Bayern player Kurt is on the move again after his transfer to Hertha was confirmed on Thursday. Bayern are said to have a one time buyback clause for 2018 for around 8 million euros which shows they are still appreciative of Kurt’s talents, despite ongoing concerns about his focus and commitment.
"Sinan has the problem that he has already told all the youth players what a super player he is,” Sport CEO Matthias Sammer once said, hinting at Kurt’s supreme arrogance.
Kurt, himself, has happily projected the image of a brash, carefree teenage talent in the past. "Defending is not for me," he told fcb.tv on the subject of what he enjoys least about football.
Not a surprise, perhaps, but hardly the sort of attitude that was ever going to warm him to Pep Guardiola. Similarly his penchant for selfies and flash outfits was not in keeping with the way in which Bayern’s manager prefers his players to go about their business.
Still, despite his obvious flaws, Kurt’s move has been celebrated by the media in Berlin. Hailed as “super Sinan” by the local press, BSC manager Michael Preetz was equally effusive speaking about a "young, very talented offensive player who has a lot of potential."
Kurt is no stranger to having superlatives thrown in his direction but already Berlin is looking like the last chance saloon if he is to justify his billing. "If he stays grounded and listens to what he still has to learn, then he has a great future ahead of him," Roland Virkus, Gladbach's youth director, once said of him.
If he does not, his talent is almost certain to go to waste. Live fast die young.