Playmaker Calhanoglu, 19, already has one cap for Turkey after breaking into the Hamburg first team, where he has scored four goals and produced two assists in 14 games for the Bundesliga side. His path to stardom was helped by a fruitful loan spell with fellow German side Karlsruhe, with 17 goals and 12 assists in just 36 games earning him regular football with the Hamburg first team. His impressive displays for the Bundesliga outfit have alerted Arsenal and Liverpool, with a January move rumoured.
Capable of playing as a No. 10 or on the flanks, Calhanolgu has already become a key player for Bert van Maarwijk's side, and opened the scoring in Hamburg's 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg, looping a 35 yard free kick over goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and in to the net. Whilst the goal appeared to be something of a fluke, Calhanolgu is known to be a danger from set pieces, scoring a number of free kicks during his short career to date.
As a Turkish-German attacking midfielder, Calhanoglu has unsurprisingly been compared to a current Arsenal midfielder, as the 19 year old has been dubbed “the new Ozil” and a move to Arsenal could see the youngster learn behind the German international before eventually taking over the reins as the key playmaker at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners aren't necessarily in the market for another attacking midfielder – with a number of them already on the books – but the opportunity to land another talented playmaker may be too good to pass up, especially with Hamburg considering his sale in order to balance the books.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are set to target another winger or playmaker in the January transfer window, with Victor Moses yet to really impress since his loan move from Chelsea. Phillippe Coutinho has been superb since his move from Inter Milan almost 12 months ago, but an injury this season really damaged Liverpool's creativity and manager Brendan Rodgers will be looking for players who can offer the same guile and vision as the Brazilian.
Calhanoglu certainly fits the bill, and with Rodgers already making a commitment to adding talented young players – Tiago Ilori and Samed Yesil are expected to be a part of the Liverpool first team in years to come – he could make a move for Calhanoglu and stump his rivals.
Ultimately, having been compared to German star Ozil, it may be too difficult for Calhanolgu to turn down the opportunity to with the former Real Madrid man, who has already become a hero at the Emirates Stadium, despite being in North London for just over three months.
image: © Ronnie MAcdonald