Sahin struggles a distant memory as Reds complete Can capture
Liverpool, 7/2 to win next season’s Premier League with Coral, have completed the capture of Germany Under-21 international Emre Can.
The 20-year-old, who is of Turkish descent and a product of the Bayern Munich academy, joins the Reds from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee. He had a reported release clause in his contract there of £10m, and the deal has been in place in principle for a month.
Can, who prefers a deep-lying midfield berth, operated at left back under former Kop idol Sami Hyypia in this season’s Champions League group stage encounters with Manchester United. Leverkusen lost both matches by an aggregate scoreline of 9-2.
Brendan Rodgers’ boys will being returning to the elite European club competition this term, and the Northern Irishman has swiftly supplemented the arrival of Southampton pair Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana. He will be hoping the capture of Can will be more successful than the disastrous loan spell endured by Nuri Sahin, who has a similar background, at Anfield in 2012/13.
Current Borussia Dortmund playmaker Sahin, like Can, is German-born to Turkish parents, but opted to represent the latter country at international level. Loaned to Liverpool by Real Madrid in Rodgers’ first campaign on Merseyside, his signature was seen as something of a coup at the time.
Sahin’s spell with the Reds terminated after just a dozen games in all competitions, however. Rodgers has been undeterred, though, by coming in for similar stock in the form of Can.
His impending Anfield arrival may be bad news for anchor Lucas Leiva and pass-master Joe Allen. In coming to Liverpool, Can follows in the footsteps of compatriots Didi Hamann, a player that occupied a similar position, and Markus Babbel.
Should he be able to replicate the athletic and combative displays at the Reds, which helped Leverkusen finish fourth in the Bundesliga, despite the sacking of Hyypia, then Can may break through into the senior Germany team. At present, however, the likes of Sami Khedira and injured trio Ilkay Gundogan and the Bender brothers (Lars and Sven) stand in his way.
Both Can and the Kop have European nights to look forward to again next term. Liverpool are 20/1 to win a continental competition, and 5/4 to lift any major honour in 2014/15.