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Derdiyok already a big hitter

Published: Saturday 27 February 2010, 14.03CET
Still just 21, a move to Bayer 04 Leverkusen has provided further proof that Swiss talent Eren Derdiyok is one of the most powerful up-and-coming strikers in Europe.

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Published: Saturday 27 February 2010, 14.03CET

Derdiyok already a big hitter

Still just 21, a move to Bayer 04 Leverkusen has provided further proof that Swiss talent Eren Derdiyok is one of the most powerful up-and-coming strikers in Europe.

Name: Eren Derdiyok
Club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Professional debut: 11/02/07 v BSC Young Boys (Swiss Super League)
Position: forward
Nationality: Swiss
Date of Birth: 12/06/88

A goal for BSC Old Boys against city rivals FC Basel 1893 in the 2005/06 Swiss Cup prompted Basel to sign the 18-year-old Derdiyok, with the gangly striker going on to make his presence felt in 2007/08, scoring seven times in 27 league games as his side won a domestic double. A member of Switzerland's UEFA EURO 2008 squad, his reputation grew as he scored in a 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw at FC Barcelona in November 2008. He joined Leverkusen in summer 2009, with his aerial presence and commitment impressing coach Jupp Heynckes. As Stefan Kiessling's regular strike partner, he has scored 11 times in his maiden Bundesliga season.

Breakthrough game
England 2-1 Switzerland
06/02/08 international friendly

Making his senior debut as a half-time substitute in London, it took just 12 minutes for the then 19-year-old to make his mark, cancelling out Jermaine Jenas's opener and silencing a crowd of 86,857 with his first real chance of the game.

He says:
"I am a down to earth guy. I always want to take a step forward. I made my hobby my profession, which is why I am very ambitious. I am strong in the air, have a fair amount of pace given my height and good instincts. However, above all I am a team player. I can and I will improve in every aspect. I am not the complete player by a long shot."
On joining Leverkusen last summer


They say:

"He is a huge talent. A very positive guy; physically very strong, runs a lot and is strong when in possession. He is always ready to improve. His only downside is that sometimes he wants too much too fast, but he is just 21, so that's no wonder. He still has to get used to some aspects of the game, but he gives it everything in every match. He has a very powerful shot with either foot, but he has to learn to pick his spot as well as shooting hard."
Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes

"Eren and I always share the same room. He is a great player, and he has always scored goals for Switzerland, but they didn't let him play much at Basel and he struggled a lot there. Now with his move to Leverkusen he is playing and scoring goals and performing very well. He is a great striker; tall and very quick, and able to score goals in any match. He has a great future ahead of him."
International team-mate Johan Vonlanthen speaking to UEFA.com in February 2010

Last updated: 27/02/10 17.29CET

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