With his Project Black & Red mixtape taking the UK by storm, climbing the charts as an independent release and winning fans across the land, Yungen is most definitely a star on the rise. Fresh off of the back of his European tour with Naughty Boy, the 21 year-old Liverpool fan’s career trajectory directly mirrors that of close friend Raheem Sterling, with the pair standing firmly on the precipice of greatness.
JD Football recently caught up with the underground sensation to talk about how he feels his beloved Liverpool have started this season, his views on Mario Balotelli and the impact of Brendan Rodgers.
Raheem Sterling is In fantastic form at the moment, you two are very good friends. How does it make you feel to see him doing so well?
It’s amazing to see one of my closest friends who is basically a kid, you know 18 or 19, with so much responsibility on his shoulders handling it in the way that he is. He’s one of the stars of English football at the moment, it’s gotten to the point where people label him as the main man.
There must be an added element of joy for you to have a childhood friend playing for your childhood team.
Yeah, it’s really special for me.
How do you reckon you would take it if Raheem left Liverpool? Say for Real Madrid?
I’d be happy for him if it was the right time. He shouldn’t leave yet! But I wouldn’t blame him, I would cuss him, I’ve warned him already. If Liverpool do manage to become that team they once were then I don’t see why he would want to leave, but as it stands, I would understand. It hurts me to know that Steven Gerrard hasn’t won a Premier League trophy and I would be able to understand if Raheem moved for success. But he shouldn’t leave, not now.
Being a Liverpool fan, you must have enjoyed last season…
Yeah, it was great. I really enjoyed the way we played and obviously we should have won the title, but whatever.
How are you feeling about this season?
Do you know what? If I’m being honest, I think we did too much in the summer, I think we made too many changes. We kind of had to with the loss of Luis Suarez and the fact that we’ve got Champions League football. I do feel like we will pick our form up again though, we just need to get used to all of the football. If you remember this time last year, we weren’t playing that much football, we only had the Carling Cup and Premier League, so I think we just need to get back in the flow. If you remember last season, we didn’t have Suarez for the first 10 games either, so we know we can’t concede our season at such an early stage.
How do you feel about the signing and subsequent form of Mario Balotelli?
He’s a G, but [pauses]… He’s not hit that form yet. I do think that once he gets started he isn’t going to stop. I really like that his attitude seems to have changed, he doesn’t look like he’s going to lose it at any given time, he’s showing that he’s grown up and matured. I’m not sure when it’s going to come, but I feel like it will be against Manchester City or Manchester United. He’s got the ability in him and we just need to be patient.
How do you feel about Brendan Rodgers? Does he feel like he has the longevity to have the same kind of impact as a Benitez, Houllier or Dalglish?
I’m very happy with Brendan Rodgers. In his first season I could see what he was trying to do, we finished seventh but we were playing good football and so the next season we did some big things, and it wasn’t just Suarez. I think there was a confidence in the team that Rodgers instilled and I think that’s going to carry through now and we will pick up very soon.
When the Premier League looks at Liverpool, they seem to always pick up that one player of focus, whether it be Suarez or Gerrard or Torres, are there any players that really stand out for you outside of the “Poster Boys”?
Jordan Henderson man! I was speaking to Raheem about this last season and he was saying how Jordan is one of the main players in the team. He’s a great player. When he first came I thought he was a bit inconsistent but he always works hard and I was really happy when they gave him the vice-captain badge.