Keep Can: Why Liverpool Need To Hang on to Emre

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Towards the end of last season German midfielder Emre Can was one of the most important cogs in the Jürgen Klopp machine. His goal against Watford opened the eyes of a lot of fans who had previously dismissed him as a bit-part player who had little impact on the pitch.

For some fans Can’s stock is not that high but for Germany manager Jochaim Löw, Can is one of the young players he has complete trust in.

This was proven when Löw brought Can to the Confederations Cup last summer. Can was one of the more experienced players in a young German team that won the tournament.

Can, this season for Liverpool hasn’t been as influential as I personally thought he was going to be. Having missed out on a decent pre season, due to Confederation Cup duty and little down time during the summer, he has been sluggish and at times gone missing during games.

He appears lazy and is playing like he has had his head turned and knows that this season will be his last season at Liverpool. Can has played 11 of Liverpool’s 13 games this season. In the games he’s missed Liverpool laboured to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace and drew 1-1 with Newcastle United.

Can’s importance to the Liverpool team should not be overlooked. This season so far in the Champions League he has made in excess of 197 passes, with a pass success rate of over 80% and over 65% of his passes have been forward passes. Yes he is prone to making mistakes, every footballer is, but constantly playing out of position does little to boost Can’s confidence.

For this writer, Can is Liverpool’s best midfielder. He has everything in his arsenal to become a truly world class midfield player. Pace, power, vision and an eye for goal. There is not many 23 year old professional footballers who can compete with Can currently.

If you compare the stats of Spurs player Eric Dier, he has made 125 passes this season in this Champions League with a pass success rate just marginally above Cans and Dier’s percentage of forward passes is on a par with Can’s.

Another of Spurs bright talents, Dele Alli, in the Champions League has only completed 25 passes, with a pass success rate in the 60’s, and while his forward pass rate eclipses both Cans and Dier’s at over 90% an argument could be made that his number of forward passes will drop the more passes he makes.

Liverpool are close to losing Can with his contract expiring next summer. Italian giants Juventus are rumoured to be hot on the trail of Can and a move to Italy will suit him. He will be able to play in his favoured number 6 role and at Juventus will compete for honors year in year out.

This is something that Liverpool can not guarantee the young German midfielder yet. Jordan Henderson is currently Klopp’s favoured number 6. Playing both Can and Henderson in the same midfield at times does not work for Liverpool. Both players look to fill the same position and at times this causes gaps to appear in the Liverpool midfield.

As a senior player Henderson may feel it is his responsibility that to play in his favoured position but as captain one would imagine he would want to put the team before his personal gains. Steven Gerrard noticeably did it when playing at Liverpool and it is time Henderson follows suit.

 

If Liverpool can at least guarantee Can playing time in his favored position and not constantly playing him out of position than this writer feels it would go a long way to convincing Can to sign a new contract at the club.

With the arrival of Naby Keita to Liverpool in the next 12-months himself and Can can form a formidable partnership in Liverpool’s midfield that would be a par with the midfield of Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Momo Sissoko.

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