Why Liverpool should consider bringing Emre Can back to the club
The 25-year-old German international, who spent four seasons at Anfield and made 167 appearances for the Reds before departing for Juventus on a free transfer last summer, played on 37 occasions for the Italian heavyweights in the previous campaign but the arrival of Maurizio Sarri has apparently pushed him down the pecking order.
Along with striker Mario Mandzukic and veteran centre-back Giorgio Chiellini, who is expected to be out for a long time with a knee injury, Can has also failed to make it to Sarri’s 25-man squad for the Champions League this season.
Can’s snub from the squad fuelled plenty of speculation over his future at Turin and the 25-year-old might as well look to force through a move away from the club in January if he continues to struggle for regular playtime under the new manager.
The German has made only one substitute appearance thus far in the Serie A this term and, quite clearly, a player of his stature would like to be involved a lot more than that.
Sarri’s decision to omit Can from the squad makes perfect sense for Juventus, though, given that the Italian champions brought in the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey on free transfers from Arsenal and PSG to add more depth to an already-crowded midfield consisting of Blaise Matuidi, Sami Khedira, Rodrigo Bentancur and Miralem Pjanic.
To that end, however, it is clear that Can is going to find life tough under Sarri if he chooses to stay put at Turin and a move away from Juventus is probably what he should be looking for, although the 25-year-old would have to wait at least until January to bid farewell to his current club.
With that in mind, it won’t be a bad idea for Liverpool to bring the German international back to Anfield in January or next summer, especially after he did a brilliant job on his previous spell at the club.
Can’s snub from Juventus’ Champions League squad is set to spark a huge transfer tug-of-war among several of Europe’s elites in the foreseeable future and Liverpool could do themselves a world of good if they manage to convince him to move back to Merseyside.
One of Jurgen Klopp’s trusted lieutenants in the midfield back in his days at Anfield, the German proved himself to be a perfect fit for the manager’s high-intensity pressing football and took the Premier League by storm with his tough-tackling and energetic displays in the middle of the park.
Can was one of the mainstays of Liverpool’s midfield during his first stint at the club, having excelled with his ability to press the opposition off the ball, break up the play, retain possession effectively, carry the ball forward with powerful driving runs and pick out the runs of the attackers with his technical abilities and vision.
A strong, tenacious and technically-gifted midfielder capable of playing in holding and box-to-box roles in the middle of the park, as well as at the heart of the defence as a centre-back, it is easy to see that the 25-year-old still has his best days ahead of him and a move back to Anfield could be ideal for both parties.
With Naby Keita failing to make much of an impact in his first season, Adam Lallana just a shadow of his former glorious self and James Milner nearing the twilight of his career at the highest level, Liverpool could avoid a potential midfield crisis in the foreseeable future by re-signing Emre Can.
The return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is definitely a big boost to their squad depth and, while Fabinho has looked solid in his defensive midfield role, Can’s ability to play in either of the No.8 roles in Klopp’s 4-3-3 system should make him a wonderful asset to the Reds.
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That said, Liverpool should consider bringing back their former player to add much-needed depth in a key area of the pitch.