Levent Mercan signs first professional contract
From the Knappenschmiede to the first-team squad: Levent Mercan is the latest prospect to make the leap in to the Royal Blues first team, with the 18-year old signing a four-year-deal at FC Schalke 04.
“Norbert Elgert gave me a little bit of advice when I joined the club: ‘Keep an eye on that one,’” said Schalke’s head coach David Wagner. “Levent has impressed us with his self-confidence from the day he started training – and I mean that in a positive sense – as well as his commitment and eagerness to learn. He fully deserves this contract.” At the same time, Wagner emphasised that: “the work really starts for him now. Levent’s goal has to be the same as every other young player – to be continually developing his game, and we’ll back him every step of the way.”
“We’re really excited about his development and it’s great that he’s committed himself to Schalke,” added sporting director Jochen Schneider. “I want to express my gratitude to all the staff in the Knappenschmiede who have supported Levent so much up to this point.”
“To sign a professional contract with Schalke is a dream come true for me,” said Levent Mercan. “I hope that in the coming years I can develop my game so that I can eventually become a regular starter in the Bundesliga for this great club.”
Mercan had initially been training with the U23 squad in June, before joining the first team’s pre-season preparations from July. He made his professional debut in the first round of the DFB-Pokal against SV Drochtersen/Assel where he scored the goal to make it 4-0, before making his Bundesliga debut as a substitute in the 0-0 draw away at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Mercan started playing football at PSV Recklinghausen in 2005. He joined Rot-Weiss Essen in 2012 after a couple of years playing in the youth academies of both VfB Hüls (2010-2011) and VfL Bochum (2011-2012). In 2016, he moved from the Hafenstraße to FC Schalke 04’s U17 squad, becoming a a key figure within the Knappenschmiede. He won the Bundesliga West title last season with the U19s, as well as making his debut for the Germany U19s in a friendly against Denmark in April.
“Levent has impressed us with his self-confidence from the day he started training – and I mean that in a positive sense – as well as his commitment and eagerness to learn.``