Emre Can 21 Midfielder Liverpool Germany
Versatile, extremely hard working and capable of playing at high speed - it’s almost as if Jürgen Klopp created a template and out popped Emre Can. Signed by Brendan Rodgers as an “inspirational young talent” he was then duly played out of position (he’s an able deputy in defence but never looks completely happy to us) but under Herr Klopp has been back in a more natural DM role and has thrived. Unlucky with an injury towards the end of last season, he has started this one very tidily and become a firm favourite of his manager.
2016 has been…
…good, and it could keep getting better.
Liverpool this season are good and that’s why you come to IBWM, for the big opinions like that. Under Klopp they pass and move and find space and press and score lots and do all sorts of lovely things. Underpinning that freedom is the hard work of Emre Can, a man who looks really happy as things are, and long may that continue as we have a lot of young players on this year’s 100, more than ever in truth, who are anything but.
It’s often easy to miss a defensive midfielder’s best work as it’s not supposed to be the most eye-catching part of the game but Can has put in some really impressive performances over the last year. He has taken on some of the Premier League’s brightest midfielders and won, and he’s getting better with age and experience too. Occasionally there is the odd lapse, the freedom afforded Liverpool players these days means quick turnovers can lead to holes appearing, but Can is coping well with nearly everything thrown at him.
Liverpool are doing things the old fashioned way this year by trying to outscore teams rather than not losing primarily. Can has a tough role but looks astoundingly mature at times. We have no idea whether Liverpool win something or not this year but if they do Emre Can will absolutely have been a huge part of it.
That happiness really shouldn’t be understated. The club are happy, his manager is happy, the player is happy - don’t change a thing. Internationally he’s competing in one of the toughest squads in world football, and he’ll improve on this year’s four caps in the future no doubt.
So yeah, he might be at fault for the odd goal this season and he might have the odd bad game, but he’s also a huge part in what keeps the Klopp Master Plan going. We can’t help but think that with the amount of energy expended there might well be a bit of a drop off at some stage for a few of Liverpool’s top performers, and Can could well be in that group given the sheer amount of work he gets through, but for now just appreciate what’s in front of you.
B Best year to date of his career despite the injury, synergy of manager, club and player achieved
All images used have been kindly provided by the National Audubon Society in The United States under a Creative Commons License. The Society’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. You can donate to their work, here.