Liverpool have made the decision to replace Steven Gerrard with Emre Can this summer, despite being linked with dipping into the transfer market to buy a marquee midfielder.
That confirmation was offered up by Germany’s U21 coach Horst Hrubesch to German publication TZ, as he claims to have been told by Liverpool that Can will take the step into the huge pair of boots as of next season.
Gerrard has of course left Liverpool for LA Galaxy in the MLS, and though the former England captain is no longer at the peak of his powers in midfield his is an absence sure to felt sorely by the teammates he has left behind at Anfield.
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Since it was originally confirmed that Gerrard would be taking his leave of Liverpool this summer speculation has been rife over just who Brendan Rodgers would trust to plug what will no doubt be a gaping void. According to Hrubesch, the choice has already been made.
"I was just in Liverpool," the coach said.
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"There was confirmed that Emre soon to assume the role of Gerrard in midfield."
Given that Can was probably the most impressive of all of Rodgers’ signings from last summer - admittedly not too difficult a feat - fans will likely be ready to place their faith in him when he turns out in the middle of the park.
Can at Liverpool
The 21-year-old spent the majority of his maiden campaign in the Premier League acting as a right-back, a positional switch enforced by the long-term injury suffered by Jon Flanagan.
However he very much looked the part and was still able to achieve a favourable status amongst the fans even though he wasn’t playing in his natural position.
Since then Can has made it clear that he wants to be given the opportunity to play in midfield, and if Hrubesch is speaking nothing but the truth he’s soon to be granted his wish.
Whether or not he’ll be able to step up to the plate in terms of the leadership qualities Gerrard boasted is another debate altogether, but one gets the feeling that with Jordan Henderson beside him that duty will be shared in order to alleviate the pressure that will inevitably come with it.
Liverpool fans, do you think Gerrard can be adequately replaced by Can? Is there anyone else in Brendan Rodgers’ squad who is more suited to the task? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.