Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore reckons Emre Can’s time at Anfield could be coming to and end unless he re-finds last season’s form.
The 23-year-old German was an automatic starter under Jurgen Klopp last term, but this campaign, he’s been less effective in his slightly adapted box-to-box role which requires more creative input.
Can was very poor throughout January and was dropped for Saturday’s 2-0 win against Spurs, with his replacement Gini Wijnaldum putting in a Man of the Match display in a midfield trio which included Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana.
“The midfield, the much-vaunted midfield of Can, Wijnaldum and Henderson needs to be organised better,” Collymore wrote for Boyle Sports. “A player that I rate highly, Emre Can, needs to go back to the drawing board, as he’s not delivering the awesome physical power, in game reading and dynamism that he undoubtedly has.
“Maybe it’s the system, maybe he just hasn’t come to terms yet with the fact he is following in the footsteps of Souness, Gerrard and Co. but he needs to find himself quickly or I worry he may end up surplus to requirements.”
Right now, Wijnaldum should definitely be in the team ahead of Can. That much has been obvious to many fans for some time, but it seems the boss now agrees as well.
That’s not to say we don’t think Can has a future here long-term. He does, but he needs some time out of the limelight to remember what he does well. That’s breaking up play and using his technical ability and power to drive through the middle and spread the ball. Recently, he’s held onto the ball for way too long and it’s stifled our attacks.
But we back him to come back and prove these past few months have just been a dip.