Yes We Can: Is Bayer Leverkusen’s Emre Can the Future of Liverpool’s Midfield?

Over the course of the past week, Liverpool have been extensively linked to former Bayern Munich and current Bayer Leverkusen youngster Emre Can. At 20 years of age, the German-Turkish midfielder has already been dubbed the next Michael Ballack by German media.

Can started his career at SV Blau-Gelb Frankfurt and Eintracht Frankfurt before moving to Bayern Munich in 2009. Can was a stand out for Bayern’s reserve teams, being called up for Germany’s youth teams 42 times. Despite being a part of the historic Bayern side that won four trophies in 2012 and 2013, Can was not satisfied in Munich and sought a move away in order to get regular first-team football. In 2013, Can agreed to a four year contract with Bayer Leverkusen that also featured a buyback clause that Bayern could activate at any time. In 29 apps for Bayer Leverkusen, he has 4 goals and 6 assists,

Emre Can

Emre Can

The German international plays similarly to Bastian Schweinsteiger. He likes long balls, dribbling, and is exceptional at counter attacking football, something that he would only get better at under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers. Can is an extremely versatile player who can play a multitude of positions. Just this season, he has featured as a centreback, a leftback, a central midfielder, a left winger, and a defensive midfielder. Generally, though, Can does his best work as a defensive midfielder. Can wins an average of 2.2 aerial duels per game and a total of 60.6%, more than the normal Liverpool midfield. Can wins an average of 2.07% tackles per game, only .02 less than LFC skipper Steven Gerrard.

Unlike our back-up defensive midfielder, Lucas Leiva, Can has shown time after time that he is very able with his feet. He has 73 successful take-ons, 67 more than Lucas, 54 more than Henderson & Allen, 58 more than Gerrard, and 14 more than Phillippe Coutinho, Although he has not committed any defensive errors that have cost Bayer Leverkusen a goal, Can still has a lot of work to do on his passing. Can is also known to put in inaccurate crosses and could work on his discipline. He has collected 13 yellow cards and 1 red card this season, something that Brendan Rodgers is surely not too fond of.

However, the potential is surely there. The only worrying part about this potential deal is the factor of Bayern Munich who still keep an eye on Can. Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has stated that Bayern is interested in getting Can back at some point and that he would not veto a move to England. Still, Brendan Rodgers has a great relationship with Can’s agent—International Soccer Management—having done deals for Nuri Sahin and Samed Yesil in the past.

Right off the bat, I don’t think that Can could affect the club greatly besides providing good options on the bench for the defense and the midfield. He’s someone who is a buy for the future; much like Luis Alberto was last season, Instead of forcing Lucas out of the club, I see Can as a long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard when he retires as an active footballer. Can is reportedly available for about £10 million, which would be a decent price tag for someone who is hyped as part of the future of German football. Hopefully he’ll also be a part of the future of Liverpool’s football.

What do you think of Liverpool being linked to Emre Can? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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About The Author

Brett Chandler

is a Liverpool fan since the age of five. Besides football, Brett also enjoys basketball and wrestling. Brett currently lives in Brasilia, Brazil, but sadly will not be attending any World Cup games. He does, however, hope to attend a LFC game in the future.

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