It’s easy to draw comparisons between Emre Can and Jordan Henderson, the two players that could conceivably become our first-choice midfield pairing for the next ten years.
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Both were signed by Liverpool at a young age, both drew criticism following their early performances and both are now integral elements of Brendan Rodgers’ side, with incredibly bright futures ahead of them.
Can’s emergence should certainly soften the blow of losing Steven Gerrard to LA Galaxy this summer, with his switch from defensive utility-man to midfield dynamo seemingly inevitable.
There has already been plenty of praise for the German’s leadership skills. Rodgers is no doubt hoping that these positive early signs will help develop another commanding player in the same ilk as our vice-captain.
Henderson has spent two years being groomed for the Liverpool captaincy and Gerrard’s departure should mark the appointment of two successors, not just one. Can could be given the VC spot like Henderson was last summer, although it would be tough not to give it to Martin Skrtel – our long-serving Slovakian.
Speaking on Friday, 21-year-old Can was full of praise for Henderson, claiming his Liverpool story serves as the perfect example of the benefits of adopting a never-say-die attitude to all young players.
“You should never give up and you can see that Jordan has never given up,” Can explained to our official website.
“He has had the confidence shown in him and it’s great that he has been able to captain the team. He has got a lot of qualities and you can see that on the training ground every day, as well as every game. He’s deserved to be the captain.
“I can learn a lot from him – I am a couple of years younger than Jordan. He gives 100 per cent all the time and he works hard on his own game. He is full of confidence and never gives up. He is always there for the team, both on and off the pitch.”
Can’s assertions should be welcomed and encouraged. The prospect of having two dynamic players with that never-say-die attitude in our midfield engine-room is enthralling to say the least.
If these two players work closely with each other and develop a highly positive relationship then imagine what we could have at our disposal in three, four, or five ears time.
Experienced players such as Martin Skrtel and Lucas Leiva still have a vital role to play in helping develop a young squad full of potential, but there should be no qualms over Henderson’s second in command – that’s Emre Can.