It seems fair to say those calling for Liverpool to sell Emre Can have been somewhat forced to go back on their word.
Reported issues surrounding the German’s contract negotiations have disappeared and he has since emerged as a key man in Jurgen Klopp’s central-midfield trio, striking up a strong understanding with Georginio Wijnaldum.
He has moulded into an influential figure in his own right since the loss of captain Jordan Henderson to injury, playing with greater responsibility and showing a new-found impetus towards being a leader. Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Brom saw him continue his revival and once again prove just how important his power, athleticism and work rate can be in this side.
It isn’t always pretty as far as his work on the ball is concerned but his decision making is much sharper now and, though not everything comes off for him, is presenting him as a far more valuable player than he looked earlier on in the season. There is more urgency, more aggression and more confidence to everything he does.
Can’s warrior-like attitude is back but with an added sense of reliability. Though he still has the license to break forward, he has turned a greater focus towards polishing his defensive capabilities and already looks a better player for it. There is still plenty of room to improve for a man who is still only 23 and yet to play his best football.
Here’s a reminder of his display at the Hawthorns…