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Amid all the chaos of the transfer window it’s easy to forget Emre Can’s current contract predicament. All the saga over potential deals for Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah have taken the headlines but the German remains at the forefront of Liverpool fans’ minds.
Playing a crucial role in seeing Liverpool over the line and into the top four this season, the lack of movement over his contract situation is becoming increasingly worrying.
Joining from Bayern Leverkusen in 2014 for a fee of £9.75million, Can represented a very low risk buy for the club. A young prospect with all the hallmarks of a good player, Liverpool had someone with a good amount of experience to his name and all at a cut price.
Now, with just one year left on his current deal and rumours of Juventus poking their noses around should no agreement be reached, sorting out the German’s contract should be equally as important as securing quality signings this summer.
It’s been a rather anomalous season for Emre Can on the whole. The first half of the campaign saw him struggle to hit his usual heights, with his bullish figure proving to be a hindrance for Liverpool’s free-flow style of play. An ongoing calf problem only exacerbated such issues, with Can earning a plentiful supply of criticism for his sloppy performances.
That was a huge contrast to the last few months of the season in which he rose above and beyond to propel Liverpool toward the Champions League. Two beautiful strikes – one against Burnley and the other being that sensational bicycle kick at Vicarage Road which went on to win Premier League Goal of the Season and Liverpool’s Goal of the Season.
In Jordan Henderson’s absence, the 23-year-old delivered some hugely significant moments for Jurgen Klopp’s side; both in terms of points and his all-round game. He demonstrated why he can become an integral part of the German’s future plans for next season and the years to come.
Upgrading the squad is imperative this summer in order for Liverpool to compete both on a domestic and European front. Yet, a new deal for Emre Can should hold equal importance.
Working under Klopp’s tutelage, Can will only continue to get better. His bullish frame and snide nature isn’t comparable with any other player currently at the club, underlining the need to tie him down to a new deal.
Henderson may be the preferred choice when the emphasis is very much on Liverpool to dictate the tempo and attack from the off, but Can’s physical attributes proved incredibly handy for the top-four run in and will do in the coming years.
Even the potential acquisition of RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita shouldn’t deter any negotiations with Can. It’s going to be a long old season for Liverpool and everyone will need to play their part.
Competition for places is only healthy – this season was evident of that. Liverpool have a strong starting eleven but beyond that, their bench often looks bereft of quality and experience. That needs to change this summer. Adding to the current squad rather than stripping down the key cogs is essential.
Now, it’s important to note that Emre Can is by no means the finished product. He could work on shifting the ball faster to keep Liverpool ticking over while adding more goals to his game. It’s clear he’s got the quality to chip in when it counts but he now needs to do so on a more consistent basis.
However, what is known is that he has bags and bags of potential and Liverpool would be naive beyond belief to let such talent slip through their fingers.
Liverpool will be looking to make step up next season and keeping hold of Emre Can is just as paramount as any new signing that may line up at Anfield next season. Let’s get it done. Soon.