I really, really wish they’d kept that above piece of dialogue in the movie.
People in other, much better worded meta than mine, have written about how Eames’ conversation with Cobb basically amounts to a job interview. Similarly, I think Eames sells Yusuf as a chemist of uncommon skill and ability to Cobb: “There’s a man here. Yusuf. He formulates his own versions of the compounds.”
I know it doesn’t sound like much, since fics often feature so-and-so chemist who is on board or who sells Somnacin derivatives to Cobb/Arthur/Eames/insert-OC-who-is-leading-the-job-here. But that’s just an assumption – a shortcut, really – that people have made for fic. What evidence is there that Somnacin is actually that easy to produce? Eames makes a specific point of mentioning that Yusuf has the ability to make his own version of Somnacin. If everyone was capable of doing it, why bother saying it? Just grab any chemist.
But everyone that Cobb recruits into the team is exceptionally talented at what they do. Ariadne is an architectural prodigy – one of Miles’ ‘best and brightest’. Arthur isn’t just good at what he does; he’s ‘the best’. Eames isn’t any old thief, but a forger.
And, in the same vein, Yusuf isn’t just any old chemist. He’s a chemist who is capable of formulating his own versions of the Somnacin compound.
Eames’ line, plus the dialogue in the draft script above, seems to indicate that that’s a rare thing indeed. It suggests that Yusuf is a rare thing and, much like every other member of the Inception team, that he’s a special god damn snowflake.