Jurgen Klopp has hailed one Red in particular for his heroic display in Liverpool’s Champions League playoff triumph over Hoffenheim.
Anfield played stage to a breathtaking performance from the home side, partially driven from midfield by an outstanding Emre Can.
The German registered a brace as he was unleashed with a freedom to roam and, in turn, proved why the club must tie him down to a new long-term deal.
Klopp revealed after the game that Can had committed to playing despite having been ill for the past few days.
“It was useful that we kept the box full of players. Emre had actually been poorly for two days. He started a bit of training yesterday, and he was training this morning. I asked him ‘are you fit?’ and he said ‘I can play 100%’,” the Reds boss told the Liverpool Echo.
“For 60 minutes he was excellent in this game and he really deserved this standing ovation.”
Can was magnificent for the 70 minutes he was on the pitch, kicking things off with Liverpool’s opener and providing his side’s third within the space of 21 minutes.
Both goals served as further evidence of just how valuable he can be as a box-to-box outlet and when given the ability to not only play as a technician from deep but also break forward to join in with attacks.
A man in Red physically bullying and technically outplaying his opponent was a welcomed sight for a rocking Anfield crowd.
Amid Can’s delayed contract negotiations, Wednesday’s outing suggested his heart is very much with Liverpool.