Cologne – With the 2015/16 Bundesliga season just around the corner, we figured it prime time to take a closer look at some of the German top flight's most talked about summer signings.
One summer signing who may have slipped under the radar was Mevlüt Erdinc. Far from a household name, the former Saint-Étienne centre forward has moved to Hannover 96 hoping to plug the gaping hole up front. With this in mind, bundesliga.com explains just why he can be a hit in Lower Saxony.
Hannover's striker crisis
Hannover have shown a shrewd eye for sharp shooters in recent years, introducing the likes of Didier Ya Konan and Mame Diouf to the Bundesliga. That supply line appears to have dried up more recently, though, and the players brought in following their departures have struggled to deliver similar results. Last year, just 40 goals were scored in the Bundesliga and the departures of Ya Konan, Lars Stindl, Jimmy Briand and Joselu have left Hannover short of options in attack.
How Erdinc strengthens the Reds
That is precisely why Erdinc has been recruited. A classic centre-forward with an eye for goal, the Turkey-born forward, who also has a French passport, has already more than proven himself in the French Ligue 1. There, the 28-year-old has scored 82 goals in 256 appearances for Sochaux, Paris Saint-Germain, Rennes and Saint-Étienne, setting up a further 29. Indeed, prior to his summer switch, there was no other player in France who could hold a candle to that record.
His strength: an explosive team player
Erdinc is bound to be judged on his goals, especially considering that is what Hannover are in desperate need of, but he first must be given time to adapt to only the second league of his career. "Of course I want to help the team with my goals, but I'm not putting the bar too high – I've first got to find my feet well and above all learn German," he said.
It should not take him too long with one of his strengths being his mental strength. At just under six feet tall, he was not born to be an aerial presence, but his explosive instinct gives him the extra inches he needs to get to the ball first. He also has a strong work ethic and will emulate Joselu in that department, pushing forward and tracking back in turn. Furthermore, he's a striker you would bet on in a one-against-one, so Hannover can rightly have high hopes in their new goal-grabber. Erdinc has all it takes to breathe fresh life into the 96ers' attack.
By Tobias Anding, Yannik Schmidt and Ben Gladwell