Liverpool mean business this summer with Mohammad Salah already added to the squad. Naby Keita, too, is attracting serious interest from Merseyside but the future of the club lay right in front of them with midfielder Emre Can.
According to the Daily Mail, the German international is poised to snub interest from Italian giants Juventus and sign a new contract with Liverpool. Currently on an extended break due to victory in the Confederations Cup, it is believed that Can will sign a new contract within the next week – a contract he genuinely deserves.
Having moved from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014, the 23-year-old failed to slot into the Liverpool team with ease. His performances were often riddled by misplaced passes and poor positioning in midfield. Like many foreign players playing in the Premier League for the first time, Can was unable to fully get to grips with the English style of football.
Although, the midfielder joined the Reds at a time of instability. Under Brendan Rodgers, the team was unable to rekindle the spark of a title challenge that had been well lit the season before. As well, midfield legend Steven Gerrard had announced his retirement and, despite their best efforts, Gerrard’s impending departure somewhat overshadowed the club’s performances.
Nevertheless, the arrival of Jurgen Klopp in October 2015 saw the club enter a new era. Whilst the Reds are yet to register any meaningful silverware under Klopp, there have been clear improvements in the squad – epitomised by Can’s progression.
With some welcome stability, and perhaps an arm around the shoulder from his compatriot, Can has began to thrive in midfield. In such a competitive side including fellow midfielders captain Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum, Can is pushed to his absolute limit every week. Needless to say, this is probably the reason for such rapid improvement in his game.
Indeed, over the last two seasons, Can has developed into a much more skilled player than he was previously. The Frankfurt-born midfielder has always possessed the power and strength needed for the Premier League but last season, especially, he began to show a more measured use of that quality.
In a side hellbent on pace and high-pressing, Can offers physicality that allows his side to avoid being run all over. His height at corners and free-kicks is bonus, in both an attacking and defensive sense. For that reason, alone, the 23-year-old adds a different dimension to the Reds. Without the big German, there is no doubting that a big hole would be left in the heart of Liverpool’s midfield.
It is inappropriate for Can to be limited to his boisterous midfield antics. The 2016/17 season, especially, saw him add serious attacking intent to his game. Having scored five goals and assisted twice last term, the midfielder has proven that he is able to contribute to the side on a number of levels – showing exactly why he deserves a new contract.
Most notably, Can bagged the Premier League’s 2016/17 Goal of the Season Award with an incredible acrobatic volley versus Watford in May. Described as ‘goal of the decade’, the midfielder proved why he should be viewed as a first-choice midfielder not only now, but for many years to come at Anfield.
At the age of 23, the German has bags of potential. His tireless worth ethic culminated in a total of 2.368 minutes in the league last season, playing in 32 matches. If his dedication is anything to go by, Can certainly warrants a new contract.
Having seen him progress since his arrival to the club, Klopp will be eager to tie Can down to a new deal. And, at such a young age, the German could become a stalwart in the Liverpool side for years to come.
Indeed, competition will be tough in the midfield. But Can has thrived on such competition and, at the same time, improved as a player at such an impressive rate.