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Why Liverpool’s £10m Midfield Powerhouse Would Be Perfect For Mourinho’s Manchester United

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Emre Can would be a great fit at Man United (Getty Images)
Emre Can

Why Liverpool’s Emre Can Would Be A Fantastic Signing For Manchester United

Despite a rather frustrating start to the season, Jurgen Klopp will feel that his side is moving in the right direction. With the attacking talent he has at his disposal, there is no doubt as to why Liverpool can’t mount a title challenge, provided they solve their defensive woes first.

One player who has quietly impressed over the past three years since his £10m move from Bayer Leverkusen to Anfield is Emre Can.

Can, 23, is out of contract next summer and it looks like he is having very little interest in signing an extension to remain at Anfield, allowing him to leave the club for nothing. According to Italian publication Tuttosport, Juventus are on top of the pile to bag the midfielder.

However, it now appears even Manchester United are eyeing a sensational move for Can after encouraging reports from the club’s chief scout, Javier Ribalta. Ribalta, a former Juventus scout, has given the green signal to United boss Jose Mourinho, who is keen to bolster his midfield in the summer.

Speaking about Can, he was originally switched around from centre-back to right-back and occasionally in midfield under former boss Brendan Rodgers, but Klopp quickly realised his quality and made him a central figure in the midfield since taking over. Since then, the German international has been an integral part of the Liverpool midfield. He has racked up over 40 appearances in each of the past three years.

It is a curious case to assert Can as a defensive midfielder given he is far more accomplished when it comes to knitting attacks and playing with freedom. Initially, it was assumed that Can’s best role would be as a protector in front of the back four owing to his physical power, but he is perhaps guilty of over-playing in midfield at times, taking three or four touches when only two are needed.

However, Klopp, over a period of time, has helped Can curb out that aspect of his game and has used him as a free-roaming no.6. Since working together, Can has developed leaps and bounds.

This comes as a bonus for Mourinho, who will get a complete midfielder in Can, who has been developed under the watchful eyes of Klopp. Can’s never-ending engine and poise in possession are also two of his key attributes that Mourinho will be able to enjoy if he succeeds in luring him to Old Trafford.

A lack of mobility and pace can hinder Can at times but his other qualities elsewhere can prove to be a success at Manchester United. Powerful, assured in possession and strong in the tackle, the German international has everything to become a class midfielder.

Can’s ability on the ball coupled with fine touch and physical attributes make him a perfect example of a modern footballer. In Liverpool’s midfielder, Mourinho will also get a perfect replacement for veteran Michael Carrick, who is in the twilight of his career. Also Carrick and Ander Herrera are out of contract at the end of the season, meaning Can’s signing makes sense. However, one can expect Herrera, who is a fan favourite, to sign a new long-term contract with United.

Emre Can of Liverpool

Barring the workhorse that he is, Can has a sweet right-foot and is capable of producing belters. He scored a remarkable overhead kick, on the run, in a victory over Watford towards the end of last season. That strike managed to beat Olivier Giroud and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s scorpion kicks to the Goal of the Season award in the Premier League.

Also against Azerbaijan in Germany’s recent World Cup qualifier, he scored a spectacular goal in what was his first goal for his nation. That further illustrated his power and long-range shooting abilities.

As a modern midfielder with good experience of playing in the Champions League, Can has developed both technical and the physical side of the game in the Premier League. However, he lacks consistency and his recklessness at times tends to get the better of him. However, under Mourinho, he will have every chance to become a complete midfield package.

Given that Manchester United have joined Juventus in the race to sign Can next summer for free, the Reds might be heavily concerned. For Liverpool, Can’s improvement is vital, but only if they can keep him beyond the season.

With the Phillipe Coutinho saga, Klopp showed he can do anything and everything to keep a player at Liverpool. He cannot afford to lose one his midfield jewels in Can, while Mourinho will face a tug-of-war with Juventus for the German international’s signature.

If Can doesn’t sign a contract extension with Liverpool until January, his intentions would be pretty clear. Manchester United should take advantage of the situation and convince Can to make the switch to Old Trafford as he’d fit them perfectly well.