Life after Steven Gerrard? Emre Can is just the man to do it, says Rodgers…
Brendan Rodgers has not shied away from revealing his expectations for Liverpool youngster Emre Can. The Reds boss believes his young midfielder has proved that he can even be as good as current captain Steven Gerrard.
Despite our Europa League exit at the hands of Besiktas on Thursday, Rodgers was quick to point out the positives – such as the performance of the German – who showed his ability to step up and be a leader.
With Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva all sidelined through injury, the 21-year-old was moved from his usual position as part of the back three to a more central role alongside Joe Allen.
Can put in a typically effective display, while he also confidently dispatched his penalty in the shoot-out, which the Reds eventually lost 5-4. Coming off the back of his latest success, Can could now find a permanent home in the Liverpool midfield, as Rodgers continues to prepare for life after Gerrard.
The Northern Irishman, who was quoted by the Daily Mirror, said: “I thought he was outstanding in the middle. He is such a top class football player. His pace, his power, his ability to read the game and his ability to take the ball are all so impressive.
“He likes to play but he also like to play in that back three as well and drive forward. He gives us that confidence on the ball. He has played three or four positions for me and he is a top class footballer.”
Gerrard, whose contract at Anfield expires at the end of the season, will join MLS side LA Galaxy later this year, ending his near three-decade association with Liverpool.