Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is determined to make this the season that he really pushes on and develops himself into an upper echelon midfielder.
Liverpool’s top four spot last season was the result of a lot of hard work, stunning goals and towards the end of the season, resolute defensive performances.
During the final run-in across March, April and May, no one player managed to tick all three of those boxes quite as prominently as Liverpool’s German midfielder Emre Can.
The German was often fielded in the no.6 role vacated by an injured Jordan Henderson, using his extra mobility freed up by finally being completely injury free to cover every blade of grass on the field, clattering into challenges and defending on the front foot – just how Klopp likes it to be done.
Of course, he still managed to find time to score one of the goals of the season away at Vicarage Road with a stunner of a bicycle kick to down Watford 1-0. For us it was a sublime display of technique and innovation, to him, it looked like just another day at the office.
However, the German is looking to build on the base he created last season and is hoping that the team can also do the same.
“It’s a big season (for me) and I think it’s a big season for the team as well,” Can told Liverpoolfc.com at the team’s training base in Rottach-Egern.
“Last season we did quite well but we could do better, so we will try to do it better this year and push on. Myself, I want to push on as well and I want to have good confidence and play a good season.
“Last season was not my best season, to be honest. It was difficult for me at the beginning with a few calf problems and everything but at the end of the season I felt very good, I think I played OK and I want to push on and go in with that feeling at the start of the season.”
Can may not have managed a trophy for Liverpool last season but the German midfielder got a taste of silverware on the international stage, playing a role in his country’s Confederations Cup win in June/July.
The former Leverkusen man believes that the experience of playing in a tournament of that magnitude – and winning it – can only be good for him as a player.
“It was a very proud moment and it was my first international trophy,” the No.23 reflected.
“I think we did very well as a team there and nobody expected we would win that cup. We played with such a young team and we were very happy. It’s always nice to play for your country and I played against top players, top countries. Everybody enjoyed it and I learned a lot and got a lot of experience.
“If you win a trophy you get confidence. I got confidence and now I want to go into the season with confidence.”
Can returned to Liverpool’s starting line up on Saturday against Hertha Berlin, playing roughly an hour in the 3-0 win and looking good for a man whose pre-season has only been a week long so far.