Jurgen Klopp says he almost dropped Emre Can for the victory over Huddersfield last night, due to the German’s shoddy performances in the defeats against Swansea and West Brom.
In those losses Can lacked invention and positional awareness, but bounced back in Tuesday’s 3-0 win.
Alongside Jordan Henderson, he was arguably the Man of the Match, scoring our crucial opening goal with a long-range half-volley, which benefitted from a deflection.
Klopp congratulated Can for the 90 minutes, but indicated that he still has no idea if the 24-year-old will extend his Liverpool contract.
“As long as he plays like this it has no influence on all the other things, so that’s the most important thing,” the boss told BT Sport, cited by IBTimes.
“He was not too good to be honest in the last game so I had the choice of which player I wanted to stay on the pitch. He paid back obviously so that’s nice.
“I’ve said it a few times, sometimes you want to buy a player and sometimes you want to keep a player and that’s how it is. We can always make the biggest stories in the world of it but as long as people behave like Emre now behaves and delivers, everything is fine and normal in life.
“At the end, if we have to do it, then we shake hands and say goodbye. If he stays, then we also shake hands and say hello again. We will see.”
Juventus are still favourites for Can’s signature, and when he plays like he did last night, or at home to Manchester City, it makes this all the more painful.
Naby Keita is arriving in the summer, but ideally, we’d deploy the brilliant Guinean alongside Can – not in his place.
Watching those two enter their best years together in our midfield would be terrific.