When Emre Can signed for Liverpool Brendan Rodgers described him as an ‘exciting young talent. Something that has been echoed by Klopp when he took over the club too.
The fact he’s represented his country across all youth levels including being captain during their U17 World Cup campaign in 2011 shows their opinions are not exclusive.
Can made 38 appearances for Klopp last season, where he moved him to his typical midfield role. Allowing him a free-roaming role at the base of Liverpool’s 4-2-3-1.
This allowed Klopp to exploit Can’s power, physicality and energy, typically relying him to break up play. Often playing alongside a more creative midfield partner in either Jordan Henderson or James Milner.
Cause devastation to the opposing defence
Can will occasionally flex his muscles with driving runs forward that has the ability to cause devastation to the opposing defence. Whilst he is a versatile player, he adds real value to the team when playing in a deep midfield role. Where with his power and poise his is capable of now controlling the pace of games. He can spread the play with his vision beyond his years, moving the play forward when the time is right or just slow the game down to allow our players time to get into position.
His stock rose that much more when he ruptured his ankle ligaments in Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund. That night he was immense. He epitomised all that was good with the night and Liverpool’s performance. Initially, he was ruled out for the rest of domestic season and we really saw the difference not having him in the team made.
Thankfully he returned ahead of the schedule and played in that (also famous) second leg of the semi-final against Villarreal. He later revealed training for 8 hours a day for 3 weeks to get fit….dedication personified.
Klopp’s confidence in Can’s ability
Against Crystal Palace, James Milner was sent off, Klopp had already subbed Jon Flanagan in order to go for the win. It would have been easy for Klopp to have replaced Can with Toure to play a back 3. But he sent out a signal of intent of where he sees Can in his future plans. Displaying how much confidence he has in his ability he kept him in a deep lying position.
Allowing him to drop deep when defending or sitting ahead of them when we attacked. This decision allowed us to still control the middle of the park, utilising Can’s power and strength saw us clinch a crucial 2-1 win.
Become Liverpool’s captain?
Klopp’s style of play is ‘heavy metal’ Football. Full-on in your face football. You need strength, power, speed and quick feet. Can has this in abundance. Out of all the players Klopp has used this season Can is the one who seems to have embraced this style of play the most. Lallana and Firmino have improved too…but Can has taken in onto a new level. He is able to influence the play more due to his deeper position…?
This is the hallmark of a captain in the midst. He has massive shoes to fill, and i don’t mean Jordan Henderson’s. Yes a certain Mr Gerrard’s.
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Can is almost guaranteed to be one of the 1st names on the team sheet even with the new recruits coming in.
I can’t say the same for Henderson or Milner anymore.
Step forward our new captain….Jurgen it’s over to you….!