Liverpool continue to be aggressive in the transfer market, and have followed up their capture of England forward Rickie Lambert by agreeing a deal in principle for Germany Under-21 midfielder Emre Can.
The 20-year-old moves to Anfield from Bayer Leverkusen to add greater depth to the Liverpool midfield ahead of the club’s return to the Champions League after five years away, but just who is he and what can Reds fans expect from him?
Here are five facts about Brendan Rodgers’ newest recruit:
Bayern Munich education
Bayern Munich took Can from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2009, and after a couple of seasons in their second team he moved up to first-team duty late in the 2012/13 season, making his Bundesliga debut on April 13th 2013.
He scored his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win over Freiburg two weeks later, but given the excessive amount of midfielders at the Allianz Arena, Pep Guardiola allowed him to move to Leverkusen last summer, ensuring that Bayern put a buy-back clause in his contract.
Reports indicated that the Bavarian giants wanted to exercise that clause at the end of next season, before Liverpool pounced.
Can is seemingly at his best when deployed as a box-to-box, energetic midfielder, but he often put in shifts for Leverkusen in both full-back positions last season.
Rodgers will doubtless see him as a strong addition to his pool of midfield talent, but with the full-back positions frequently concerning the Reds last season then he could come in useful there too.
Champions League experience
Can will have no concerns over slotting into Champions League football with Liverpool next season, as he’s already played in the tournament in the north-west of England.
He made his debut in European football’s premier competition in a 4-2 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford last September, and went on to play in seven of Leverkusen’s eight games in the competition, picking up a red card in the defeat to Paris Saint-Germain which saw them eliminated.
Germany vs. Turkey
Can was born in Frankfurt, Germany on January 12th 1994, and has played for Germany at Under-15, 16, 17, 19 and 21 levels.
He captained the Under-17s to the semi-finals of the Under-17 World Cup in 2011, where both he and new Liverpool teammate Samed Yesil scored in a 3-2 defeat to eventual winners Mexico.
Can is now a fixture for Germany at Under-21 level, but just as was the case with Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, he could choose to play for the Turkish national team should he wish due to his ancestry. However, Can has stated he ‘likes playing for Germany very much, and wants to make it in the DFB (national team).’
Heads up, commentators
Although Can’s surname offers potential for plenty of puns, it is actually pronounced ‘Chan.’
That isn’t likely to stop the headline writers though, and you can expect to see plenty of claims that Liverpool ‘Can do this’ and ‘Can do that’ over the midfielder’s Anfield career!
Can Can help Liverpool to 2014/15 Premier League glory? Check out the odds!