The next Steven Gerrard? That will be a huge target for new German midfielder Emre Can. But for now, Can is a player that manager Brendan Rodgers need right now. Young, energetic, tall in stature, Can will not only provide competition for his fellow central midfielders like Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson, but will also provide much-needed cover for skipper Steven Gerrard in the holding midfield role.
Rodgers will hope Can provides the dynamism needed for his high-octane, high-press formation. Can’s ability to play in the centre of defence and at left-back will mean he will definitely see more action than initially expected of a youthful addition.
The signing of Can, along with striker Rickie Lambert, could be a sign of Rodgers’ attempts at solving one area of the Reds’ defensive problems last season. Conceding goals was a problem, but the way the Reds dealt with defensive set-pieces was a cause for worry too. The Reds lacked height all over the field, with the exception of the two centre-backs and Gerrard. Rodgers’ youthful squad included several diminutive midfielders like Allen, Coutinho and Raheem Sterling, while left-back Jon Flanagan isn’t the tallest either.
These two signings have one thing in common, and that is their height. Can and Lambert are both at least 6” tall, meaning the Reds will have added height. However, it must be said that the two of them aren’t going to be genuine starters.
Nonetheless, Can shined for Bayer Leverkusen last season, and if possible, FC Bayern would have activated his buy-back clause, only that it was only in effect next summer. Reds will hope Can’s temperament and determination will be as suited to the Premier League as his physique is.