Liverpool came close to signing Julian Brandt two years ago only for the deal to fall through.
The Bayer Leverkusen winger rebuffed the interest from Jurgen Klopp over fears that a move might harm his chances of a place in Germany’s 2018 World Cup squad.
“My gut feeling and head are telling me the time to move has not arrived yet,” he said in 2017.
“If you move to a bigger club a year before the World Cup, you risk taking time to settle which possibly means playing fewer games.”
Brandt’s decision proved to be an inspired one as he remained a regular at Leverkusen in the 2017/18 season and won a place in Joachim Low’s squad for Russia.
The 22-year-old was a bright spark in an otherwise uninspiring tournament for the 2014 world champions and his performances in Russia went some way to justifying Low’s decision to select him over an in-form Leroy Sane.
Sane’s ommission caused uproar on these shores more than anywhere else but had we been more familiar with Brandt’s talent then perhaps the Sane shock might have been cushioned.
Brandt has continued his impressive form into this season and helped Leverkusen develop into one of the Bundesliga’s most exciting sides.
Alongside Kevin Volland, Kai Havertz and Karim Bellarabi, the 22-year-old is part of a devastating foursome that has fired Die Werkself to 5th place with a Champions League spot in sight.
Leverkusen were in scintillating form against Mainz on Friday night with Brandt at the heart of proceedings in the 5-1 victory.
The German was deployed centrally as an auxiliary No10 as opposed to in his usual left-wing role and scored twice and assisted as many in a Man of the Match performance.
After the game Brandt was showered with praise from his manager Peter Bosz who expanded on the 22-year-old’s change of position in recent weeks.
Brandt’s new-found versatility is yet another string to his bow.
Die Mannschaft legend and Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has spoken highly of Brandt in the past and even described him as: “one of the most talented players in German football.”
Standing at over 6ft tall the 22-year-old’s physical capabilities are just as impressive as his technical prowess with pace and power a major part of his explosive game.
Brandt signed an extension to his contract last year that commits him to Leverkusen until the summer of 2021.
However, with seven goals and nine assists in all competitions this season, the German will no doubt be the subject of interest from many of Europe’s top clubs in the summer.
It’s unlikely Klopp will revive his interest in the 22-year-old with Liverpool now boasting a wealth of attacking riches.
Whether or not it’s on these shores it’s only a matter of time until we see Brandt succeeding at the very top.
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