Arsenal and Manchester City looking at Bundesliga free-kick king
The Bundesliga’s answer to Brazilian dead-ball legend Juninho Pernambucano could be heading to the Premier League with Arsenal and Manchester City reportedly keen on Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.
A Turkey international with 10 caps to his name, the 21-year-old attacker has something of a reputation for scoring spectacular goals from set-pieces.
Little wonder then that the Daily Mail is reporting that two of the Premier League’s finest are keen on a move for the Mannheim-born midfielder.
City scouts and representatives from the Gunners are reportedly keeping close tabs on the attacker’s performances this season having been impressed with his goalscoring form for Leverkusen in both the Bundesliga and Champions League.
He’s already scored five goals in the German top-flight this term as well as a further three in Europe, including the only goal in their 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid in the first-leg of their last-16 tie with the Spanish side.
A product of second-tier outfit Karlsruher’s youth system, Calhanoglu moved to Hamburg in 2012, spending two years with the European Cup winners before moving on to his current employers.
While with Die Rothosen, the midfielder scored arguably his most notable free-kick to date from close to the half-way line in Hamburg’s clash with old rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Established as the go-to dead-ball specialist in the German top-flight, in much the same way Juninho Pernambucano was during his Lyon heyday in Ligue 1, there is a lot more to Calhanoglu’s game than just free-kicks.
Capable of playing almost anywhere across the midfield as well as further forward in a supporting striker role, the Turkish youngster has a keen eye for a pass and is a superb crosser of the ball.
Confident at both finishing off chances and laying on opportunities for other teammates, the 21-year-old would be a welcome addition to either Manchester City or Arsenal though he could cost them anywhere up to £16m according to valuation estimates from Transfermarkt.
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