Brendan Rodgers praises Emre Can

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Brendan Rodgers believes that Emre Can can become a important player at Liverpool and that he has "a massive future at the club."

Can joined the Reds in the summer for £10 million from Bayer Leverkusen and arrived on Merseyside with a huge reputation.

The German, who is still just 20-years-old, was chased by a line of elite European club's that included Bayern Munich, who he once played for.

Can has the long-term backing of Liverpool boss

Can, however, rejected a move back to Bavaria and signed for Liverpool in a bid to gain regular first-team football.

Despite that bold move the youngster has struggled to make himself a regular in Rodgers' starting XI so this season, sitting on the bench at Anfield for this most part.

Time to put Can in from the start against Swansea?

However, Can replaced Kolo Toure at centre-back at half-time in Liverpool's 1-0 victory against Burnley and put on an impressive display in a role that is not his natural position.

And the Northern Irishman feels that Can can come into his own over the course of the festive period and fulfil his potential he showed in the Bundesliga last season.

“Emre has a big future here," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo."It was curtailed a bit in the summer when he was trying to get his fitness but had an ankle issue which meant he was in and out of training.

“Emre has great athleticism and has presence on the pitch and is an outstanding footballer. He is young and still acclimatising to the game here.

“His favourite position is more defensive. He likes to be in that central role and look to contain the game and challenge and be strong in the duel. Emre coming on at Burnley gave us assurance and physicality.

“He is someone whose influence as the season goes on will be greater.”

Huge Potential

From what has been seen from Can, he does have a huge future ahead of himself.  The German youth international struggled with injury early on in his Liverpool career, despite looking impressive in the opening stages of the season.

When he did make his comeback, Can put in some superb displays, most notably during the 1-0 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League and when the Reds were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea.

There was one moment against the West London club when he literally shoved Edin Hazard off the ball with such ease and grabbed himself his first goal for the Merseyside club.

Can has the ability to play anywhere within the centre-of-midfield and although Rodgers stated he prefers operating in-front of the back-four, he impressed against Chelsea when in an advanced role, causing problems for John Terry and co.

Under-used given Liverpool's current plight?

However, the Germany U21 international has not started since playing excellently against Jose Mourinho's men.

Instead, Rodgers has preferred playing Lucas in the defensive-midfield, seemingly for his experience.

Although the Brazilian has been impressive, he has no ability to go forward and rarely threatens in-front of goal.

Albeit, he is in the side to shield the defence but sometimes you want a bit of magic going forward which does not occur.

Can has every ability a manager would want in a midfield - power, vision, hard in the tackle and the ability to score goals.

Although he may be playing at centre-back, his future is in the midfield and Kopites want to see him used more often in 2015.

Premier League
Emre Can

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