Turks Abroad: Can makes first Liverpool start, Calhanoglu returns for Bayer

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can

Turks Abroad: Emre Can made first Liverpool start while Hakan Çalhanoğlu returned for Bayer Leverkusen [divider]

Emre Can made his first Premier League start for the Reds against QPR. Liverpool won the game 3-2 and Can played for 65 minutes before being substituted off for Joe Allen.

Can played his first game since returning from an injury which ruled him out for six-weeks.

The 20-year-old worked hard in midfield, making two interceptions and tackles but in the second half.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised Can after the game and hailed his versatility.

“Emre has come in and is a big talent. He is only 20 years of age but has got good experience for a young player,” Rodgers was quoted as saying on the official Liverpool website.

“It has taken him up until the last 10 days to recover. Today I felt he was never going to last the game but if I could get him 60-65 minutes that would really help him.

“He can play in any one of those three midfield positions. He prefers to play in that holding and controlling role but he has also got the power and pace to run forward.”

Over in Germany 19-year-old defender Kaan Ayhan returned to the starting lineup under new manager Roberto Di Matteo and helped the home side keep a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin.

Ayhan made an impressive 10 clearances and also completed more tackles than any other defender on his team (3) over the course of the 90 minutes.

The main talking point of the week was the return of Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Ömer Toprak to the Bayer Leverkusen starting XI.

Çalhanoğlu and Toprak were rumoured to have pulled out of the Turkish national team following the call up of Gökhan Töre.

Toprak and Çalhanoğlu claim that Töre burst into their hotel room with a gun last year while on national team duty.

The Bayer duo claimed they were injured for the games against Czech Republic and Latvia however, both started in Bayer’s 3-3 draw with Stuttgart.

Borussia Dortmund star İlkay Gündoğan
Borussia Dortmund star İlkay Gündoğan

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, İlkay Gündoğan returned for Borussia Dortmund but was unable to prevent a 2-1 loss against Koln.

Dortmund have now lost three consecutive games and have dropped into 14th position.

Tolgay Arslan got an assist for HSV against Hoffenheim, setting up Pierre-Michel Lasogga in their 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim.

Salih Uçan made his debut for Roma, coming on for the last few minutes as the Giallorossi trounced Chievo in a convincing 3-0 win.

In Spain Arda Turan was far from his best for Atletico Madrid but the Rojiblancos were still able to beat Espanyol 2-0 and climb up into fifth place.