Alex Rogers has a look at whether or not Emre Can can be the man to lead Liverpool forward from midfield in the coming years.
Emre Can is a very talented footballer, that much is undeniable. A dominant midfielder with a tendency to score a screamer every now and again. What’s not to love? He’s a very classy player on his day, capable of a killer assist or crunching tackle.
However, like most players, he can have his off days. One of Can’s biggest weaknesses is his habit of losing the ball cheaply and in dangerous areas. Not a great habit to have in all honesty. But, for now, I’m willing to overlook his sometimes questionable mistakes in favour of at looking at all the fantastic qualities he brings to the club.
And here is where I’ve seen a change in attitude towards Can in recent weeks. I’ve seen many fans saying they would happily get rid of Emre if it meant bringing in (insert rumoured transfer target here) to replace him. And to that I say, why can’t we have both?
As so often happens in football, a player has a slump in form, Can in this case, and fans turn on him. Where’s the loyalty towards your players? I could understand if it was a player that had been consistently bad for many seasons, but that simply isn’t true for Can.
Can has too much potential to get rid of in favour of some other player from RB Leipzig that 99% of people have never seen play. Now, this other player may also have quality, but a successful club wants to keep as much quality as they can in their club, adding depth to the team.
Also, Can is just a young lad, only 23 years old. Now, from what I’ve learnt in my many years on this planet is that players don’t tend to have reached their full potential by age 23, bar some exceptions.
Imagine it now, five years from now Emre Can is the best midfielder in the world, a true great in the world of football rivalled by few. Unfortunately, he’s playing for another team because we got rid of him five years ago because he wasn’t a “Liverpool quality player.” Imagine it.
Now, I’m aware that this is pretty unlikely and far-fetched, but the point still stands. Can still has a lot to give and seeing fans saying that he’s an awful player and, in general, not standing behind and giving him the support a real fan would.
I could be wrong, maybe in five years time, Emre could be working in McDonalds, who knows? But if I had to put my money on the likelier outcome, I’d say Can will be a fantastic player. As all good prospects do, he needs time.