Brendan Rodgers is well known for his ethos of developing young players, but even by his standards the Liverpool boss has veered quite far left in his latest pursuit of the continent’s talent.
Having expressed an unwillingness to add to his current stocks at Anfield during the January transfer window, it seems unheralded Hanover 96 midfielders Leonardo Bittencourt and Lars Stindl are in Rodgers’ summer thinking instead.
But just who are this German duo playing for a mid-table Bundesliga club?
Liverpool fans may not have been over familiar with recent £10m addition Emre Can, but at least the Bayer Leverkusen import had his schooling at Bayern Munich and was a regular Germany U21 player.
Stindl, 26, only has a single Germany U21 cap to his name, but the Hannover number 10 has been a regular Bundesliga operator over the last four seasons.
As his shirt number suggests, Stindl is a creative midfield player though he’s only contributed three goals this season after starting the campaign on the sidelines.
Still, he has a strong all-round game according to the statisticians at WhoScored.com so maybe Rodgers’ sees him as a potential replacement for Steven Gerrard.
At 21, Bittencourt is a winger with plenty of potential and has been a regular German U21 international since swapping Borussia Dortmund for more regular gametime in 2013.
Bittencourt is only 5ft 7” and has pace to burn in the mould of Raheem Sterling, so perhaps a fearful Rodgers also views the German as a contingency plan.
With neither player having shot to prominence yet however, it remains to be seen whether they would bring enough quality to improve the squad at Liverpool, who remain 11/2 outsiders for the top four.
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