Nuremberg teen Can Uzun is starring in Germany's second division. Where will he go next?

Mon, Apr 1, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Nuremberg teen Can Uzun is starring in Germany's second division. Where will he go next?

BERLIN (AP) - One of Germany's most exciting players isn't even playing in the Bundesliga.

Nuremberg teenager Can Uzun has 15 goals in the second division after scoring twice against Hertha Berlin this weekend.

Only three players have more this season than the 18-year-old, whose performances have captured the attention of a host of clubs. Uzun now looks certain to move this summer.

Uzun's second goal Saturday was the highlight in a game that ended 3-3 in Berlin's Olympiastadion. He got the ball on the edge of the penalty area and skipped past four Hertha defenders before tucking the ball inside the near post.

"I just dribbled off and when players try to stop me, I shoot, and it worked out very well," Uzun said.

His first goal was a shot from outside the penalty area inside the far post after taking a slight deflection from a defender.

It came just over a week after Uzun made his debut for Turkey in a 1-0 friendly loss to Hungary in Budapest.

"He's 18 years old and was able to celebrate his debut for his country's national team. It's something extraordinary," Nuremberg coach Cristian Fiel said. "Everyone dreams of it. I still dream of it. It won't come through anymore," the 44-year-old joked.

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Uzun is comfortable with the ball at his feet facing defenders, and off-the-ball, running into dangerous positions from midfield. He can operate on the right and the left, and his composure and accuracy have helped drive up his goal tally.

The Regensburg-born Uzun could have played for Germany, which made efforts to lure him before he opted to keep playing for the country of his roots. He had already played for Turkey's youth teams.

"I listened to the sound of my heart," the player said on Instagram when he announced the decision last month.

"Such a decision is not a career decision like changing clubs, but a choice of the heart," Uzun told broadcaster Sky. "You have to feel the national team and my heart and gut told me Turkey was the right choice for me."

German soccer federation managing director Andreas Rettig wished him all the best.

"We've great respect for Can Uzun's decision to continue playing for the Turkish national teams, especially because of the good, open and honest exchange that (sporting director) Rudi Voller, (Germany under-21 coach) Antonio Di Salvo and I recently had with Can and his father," Rettig said. "We wish Can a lot of success on his future journey."

Uzun's future club career is less certain. German media reports suggested he has already agreed to join Eintracht Frankfurt, but the player denied that on Saturday. Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan, Newcastle, Brighton and Everton are all reportedly interested.

"Nothing's certain, we'll see what happens," Uzun said. "Something will happen but nothing is fixed yet."

Nuremberg is already resigned to losing its star player.

Sporting director Dieter Hecking joked that every goal he scores "brings another million."

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CIARAN FAHEY Fahey is a Berlin-based reporter for The Associated Press, covering sports in Germany and beyond. twitter instagram mailto "
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