Football

Emre Can can be Liverpool's new Steven Gerrard

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Football News
24/7

Liverpool have completed the £10 million transfer to Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can, who only joined the German side from Bayern Munich last summer.

The transfer has, however, come under scrutiny, with some suggesting that the player will not improve Liverpool, who, having finished second last season securing a return to the Champions League, are hoping to go one better, and secure the Premier League title.

Can - an U21 German international, has been called an "inspirational young talent" by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, having already been likened to former German great Michael Ballack - a former Bayer Leverkusen player himself - and current Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, due to his versatility in being able to attack and defend.

The 20-year-old is already proving to be a talent; he shone in performances in the Champions League, notably against Manchester United, in the course of making 39 appearances in Bayer Leverkusen's season.

He appeared in seven of eight Champions League appearances for Leverkusen - and his experience of Europe may help a Liverpool side of which few players have experienced regular Champions League football.

Can is also technically adept, with the ability to dribble past players: across Europe's top five leagues, only two more players under the age of 21 managed more average dribbles than Can (2.5 per game). 

He is equipped not only with flair, but also an ability to tackle and help out defenders: his 60 successful tackles last season for Leverkusen was the second-highest in the Bundesliga for players under the age of 21; and this versatility, to be comfortable both with and without possession of the ball, may have been what has attracted Rodgers to sign the player.

If needed, Can can slot in at left-back, where he did play for Bayer Leverkusen last season at times; however, it is likely that Rodgers has signed the 20-year-old with a view to giving him a run in midfield.

There are some who suggest that Can will not improve Liverpool however: former Premier League striker now German football pundit Jan Aage-Fjortoft has claimed that the player is "average" in an interview Sky Sports News while he also labelled the move a poor signing by Brendan Rodgers.

Also, Can joins a Liverpool side with a host of midfielders already in the squad: assuming that captain Steven Gerrard will be playing in either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 (both formations have been used by Rodgers, though the former was preferred when Sturridge returned from injury), then Can will compete with the likes of Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva for a place in midfield.

However, it is likely that Rodgers may have signed Can, seeing him as a long-term replacement for veteran Steven Gerrard in a deep-lying playmaker role at the heart of Liverpool's side. If so, a £10 million price tag may be looked back on as a bargain if the transition is successful in the future.

Only the new season will answer the question for now however: can he improve Liverpool?

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Liverpool
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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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