New contender emerges to replace Steven Gerrard at Liverpool

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Now that Steven Gerrard's long association with Liverpool football club has finally come to an end, for the time being at least, the Merseyside club enter into a new era without their talismanic midfielder. But rather then scouring the transfer market for a superstar replacement, Liverpool appear to be promoting from within.

With Jordan Henderson already occupying a midfield role and likely to succeed Gerrard as the club's captain, it was expected that new signing James Milner, brought in on a free transfer from Manchester City was acquired to fill the Gerrard sized gap left in midfield.

However, there is also another current player emerging as a candidate to fill that void, the 21-year-old Emre Can.

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Signed from Bayern Leverkusen in an £11 million deal last summer the German U21 international endured a difficult start to his Liverpool missing spells during the first-half of last season.

He said: "At the beginning things really did not go so smoothly, I had problems with my calf, then I got injured during an international match with the under-21s and had to wait longer.

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"As a newcomer, it's normal that there's a certain period of adaptation, but I have always believed in myself and haven't regretted making the move to Liverpool for a second."

Despite being brought in as a midfielder who was likened to former German international Michael Ballack whilst at Leverkusen, when he did regain fitness his manager Brendan Rodgers saw fit to deploy Can in defence as part of a back three.

Upon his return Can was an almost constant fixture in the Liverpool team, playing in every minute of their Premier League campaign during 2015, bar the two occasions he was substituted against Arsenal and Stoke in the final game of the season.


Happy to operate in any number of positions that he is requested to play in to maximise his time on the pitch, Can realises that his versatility is a definite asset to his game. Though, now as an established regular in the Liverpool team he hopes to stake his claim for a position further upfield, an area which he feels he is best suits his natural game.

"It can be a disadvantage, but it can help a young player as well," he said. "I want to play as much as possible.

"At the moment I am content, but I'll be playing my best position soon, which is central midfield. The coach knows about it and sees it the same way I do."

International form

Currently away playing for Germany in the European Under-21 Championship, Can has been deployed in his favoured midfield role and last night scored his country's equalizer in the 1-1 draw against Serbia with a low-curled effort from outside the box.

With displays of this quality it awaits to be seen weather they will be enough to tempt Brendan Rodgers into playing Can in midfield. Though with Gerrard now far from Merseyside, there has never been a better opportunity for the 21-year-old to nail down his midfield spot.

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James Milner
Steven Gerrard
Emre Can
Brendan Rodgers

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