'Next Ozil', linked with Liverpool and Chelsea, completes German switch

Bay Arena - Bayer Leverkusen

Hakan Calhanoglu has joined Bayer Leverkusen from Hamburg SV.

Toward the end of last season it was revealed that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been on a German scouting mission to check out Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu of Hamburg SV.

Calhanoglu even addressed the rumours, stating:

"A great honour for me when a coach of such a great club is watching me. This is encouraging in a relegation battle. [However] only the successful relegation is currently important to me.”

Not long after this and Chelsea were also linked with the player - dubbed the ‘next Mesut Ozil’.

One of the only shining lights for Hamburg in a dreadful season (they survived relegation on away goals) he recently signed a new deal with the club but regardless of staving off relegation Hamburg’s financial problems always made a sale likely this summer.

Chelsea and Liverpool were not alone in their reported pursuit. Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Galatasaray were all linked with the player over the past 12 months.

But now he has turned them all down, and as expected, joined ambitious Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen. It was first reported over a month ago that he wanted to join the side. Now, with the transfer window open, he has made that switch.

He said of his Bayer decision:

“I had a great time in Hamburg, but in Leverkusen I can now take the next step forwards. Bayer have a great team and they've been in Europe regularly in recent years. To reach the Champions League group stages and compete at the top of the Bundesliga is a big challenge for me. I'm really looking forward to it and I'll give everything to help the team."

The talented 'next Ozil' is therefore not on his way to the Premier League but in all honesty that is for the best. He has potential, but right now is nowhere near the finished article. Playing a higher standard in the German hierarchy will serve him well. A move to England has probably come to soon.

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