If you ask any Liverpool fan about Emre Can today, they’ll probably sigh and wonder why or how the German powerhouse has been so ineffective since the turn of the calendar year.
Jurgen Klopp has remained entirely loyal to the midfield dynamo, but perhaps more than any other, Can’s performances have been wrecked by the lack of confidence that’s clearly running through the team.
He’s been guilty of holding onto the ball for large amounts of time, seemingly for no season, instead of playing quick passes – and has consistently made more poor decisions creatively.
But this is a 23-year-old who started for Germany in the Euro 2016 semi-final just eight months ago and someone previously lauded by supporters as future captain material.
Perhaps some of his recent problems are because of the ongoing contract dispute with Liverpool. His deal runs out in 2018 but he’s so far not been impressed by what we’ve offered – meaning a summer sale, according to Echo journalist James Pearce – is possible.
Here’s what Pearce told AnfieldHQ:
I must admit, he was pretty poor against Hull, as was every other Liverpool player on the day. It would be wrong of me to jump on the bandwagon afterwards because I actually thought Can was much better against Chelsea. Whether he should’ve been picked instead of Wijnaldum is another matter, but I thought it was probably quite a tough call that one. I know people will say that it was a bad decision or whatever, but I could see the logic.
I did actually ask Klopp about Can. I think it was the day before the Hull game and I asked him about the contract situation and he said that it’s not unsettling at all for Can because, “he knows what I want” and by that I think it’s fair to assume that he wants him to stay, he wants him to be part of Liverpool’s future. But there is a standoff there. There’s no getting away from that. I think Liverpool opened contract talks with Can last summer and I don’t think contract talks got very far because there was a disparity between what his representatives think he’s worth and what was on the table.
So, that’s no closer to being resolved at the moment and I think it’s difficult to say how that one will pan out. I think that the fact that Klopp clearly wants him to stick around makes you wonder whether Liverpool will go back to the negotiating table, but if they do stand firm then I think that will be an issue this summer because there’s no way Liverpool are going to risk losing Can in the summer of 2018. I think that’s one, that at the moment, you’d probably say his future is uncertain rather than it is definite that he wouldn’t be moving on.