Emre Can insists Liverpool career is in midfield

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Emre Can is confident his Liverpool future remains in midfield, despite spending most of this campaign playing in defence.

Can signed for the Reds last summer for £10 million from Bayer Leverkusen and made 40 appearances at Anfield in his first season.

Lacklustre Liverpool

The Merseyside club finished a disappointing sixth in the Premier League, missing out on Champions League football, and many of last summer's signings performed well below par.

However, the Germany under-21 international was quite the opposite, and his debut campaign impressed most Kopites throughout and believe he will become a key player within Brendan Rodgers' side in years to come.

Can is a central midfielder by trade but was used as a central defender for most of his Liverpool career, where he formed a formidable partnership with Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho when the five-time European Cup winner's went on a long unbeaten streak in the top-flight from December to March.

Midfield desire

But, the 21-year-old is adamant his future remains in the middle of the park, though he relishes the opportunity to be a regular in Rodgers' starting XI.

"[Brendan] talks all the time with me," he told The Anfield Wrap podcast.

"He sees me as a midfield player and I hope next year to be playing in midfield.

"Of course he talks with me every day and says what I can do better. He helps my game. He wants to play football and that's what I want. That's why I came to Liverpool.

"It wasn't easy because I didn't speak the language so well but now I've improved my English, it's a little bit better.

"In the Premier League every game is a tough game and the bottom team can win against the top team. It's a lot stronger and faster. For me this is good because I don't like it if the referee is giving everything as a foul.

"I try to give everything in every game and give 100 per cent. That's what the fans see and it's a big honour for me that they love me, and I love them - they're great fans."

Can Future

With Steven Gerrard leaving the club for Los Angeles Galaxy, Can could be moved into midfield as soon as next season. 

Opportunities in the centre of the park came few and far between for him this term, but, when given a chance, he did impress. During Liverpool's 2-1 loss against Chelsea at Anfield early in the season, Can looked promising in the first-half against Chelsea and had a great battle with Cesc Fabgregas and Nemanja Matic before fitness got the better of him after the break.

Even when playing centre-back, the ex-Bayern Munich man had a tendency to go on skipping runs and commit himself to attack,  which sometimes had its repercussions and left his team short-handed at the back. 

Potential partnership

However, his presence in the midfield would be felt much better and could form a partnership with Jordan Henderson.

Can netted just one goal last season, which will have disappointed him. He would have much rather played in an advanced role, but, as he was a regular in Rodgers' side, put himself in the window to become Gerrard's replacement next term.

The Liverpool boss will too likely want to bring in a new centre-midfielder this transfer window to replace Gerrard. Joe Allen's Anfield career hasn't been the greatest and although Lucas offers a first-line of defence, he is significantly limited going forward.

Liverpool fans, do you think Can is Gerrard's ideal replacement in the middle of the park? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

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