Emre Can is pretty damn popular right now.
After working his Turkish-German socks off to get back to fitness in time for this week’s 3-0 win over Villarreal, the 22-year-old bossed the Europa League semi-final from midfield.
Can made four tackles, four interceptions and 69 passes – more than any other player on the pitch – as he won over the hearts of even more Reds fans on Thursday night.
The reality is, Can was already hailed by the Anfield faithful. Knowledgable supporters realise that he is one of Jurgen Klopp’s most important disciples – and that he has the potential to be a future skipper.
Judging by Can’s comments after he helped send Liverpool to Basle, the feeling is mutual. He realises just how important this club’s famous fans are too.
Emre Can on Liverpool fans
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Can said: “It was a wonderful night at Anfield. Our fans were incredible.
‘The fans helped us so much and made it more difficult for Villarreal.
“It was unbelievable. As players, staff and supporters, we were all together and we deserved to go through to the final.”
The power of Anfield has been vital in Liverpool’s Europa League run this season – the incredible comeback against Borussia Dortmund a case in point.
Anfield has also been a difficult place to come for Premier League teams this term. Only three away sides have taken maximum points – West Ham thrashing Brendan Rodgers’ side in August, Man United pinching a 1-0 win in January and – in the words of Klopp – that “f*cking lose against Crystal Palace” in November.
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Despite losing just three times on Merseyside soil, seven home league draws – six under Klopp – have played a key role in stopping the Reds getting up near where they should be in the table.
However, with Can on fire and he and his fellow settled Redmen backed by a Klopp-inspired Kop, you can bank on Liverpool’s home record being among the best in England next season.
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