Liverpool have completed the signing of Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee of £9.75 million. So what do we know about him we hear you ask? Well he's a 20 year-old playmaker who enjoyed an excellent run of form in the 2013/14 season but you probably knew that. What you may not know is the following...
1. His second name isn't Belozoglu
He's not Turkish, but similarly to Mesut Ozil, Emre comes from Turkish descent and is eligible to play for their national side, despite this fact he remains German by upbringing. He would have made a legitimate addition to Joachim Lowe's World Cup squad, if not for the plethora of midfield options available.
2. He's being touted as Steven Gerrard's long-term replacement.
The attributes are there. Can plays predominantly as a deep-lying midfielder, doubling when necessary into a dangerous attacking threat on the counter. He seems a perfect fit for the philosophy Rodgers is trying to instil at Anfield, he is especially good at winning the ball back and driving forward and his comfort on both feet is a useful bonus in building quick moves.
3. He's very versatile
Can has played across the midfield, further forward and at both centre-back and full-back positions. Leverkusen made good use of his extraordinary ability to meld in wherever needed last season. It's hard to judge whether he'll be deployed in any other position than central midfield by Rodgers.
4. He played for Bayern Munich up until last summer.
After four years in the youth setup at Bayern Munich, Can joined Leverkusen only last summer as a result of the extreme competition for places at the Allianz Arena. The Bundesliga champions, however, still rated him highly enough to insert a buy-back clause in his contract.
5. He already has a friend at Liverpool.
Can's agent has a close relationship with Rodgers and was central to Liverpool's signing of Nuri Sahin (now departed) two years ago, and the signing of Can's compatriot Samed Yesil. Can played alongside Yesil at the u-17 World Cup and the pair will hope to be re-united on the pitch as soon as Yesil returns from a second cruciate injury.
Emre Can's agent has a very good relationship with Brendan Rodgers. Did Sahin and Yesil deals
— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) May 17, 2014