Like many of Liverpool’s international representatives, Emre Can spent only three weeks away from football this summer. Given the physical demands of a top athlete, it’s an incredibly short offseason to rest and recharge after a draining club campaign and a major summer tournament.
For Can, though, that short break might be a blessing in disguise, giving him just enough time to recharge mentally and physically without losing much when it comes to fitness and stamina. Or at least that’s how the rising star 22-year-old is choosing to look at his abbreviated summer break.
“It was a short break for me but I enjoyed it,” Can told the club’s official website this week. “Last season was a long season for me, [but] after the break, I’m ready to play football again. I didn’t have such a long time off and I didn’t lose too much fitness. I feel that in training.”
Can is expected to make his first appearance of pre-season tonight when Liverpool take on Roma in St. Louis in what will be the final game of their United States tour. And after growing into his role last season, becoming Liverpool’s most important midfielder, Can is looking to take the next step.
His early season showings were marked by some of the inconsistency of his first year in red, speaking to a great talent with limitless potential but also to a player who was still young and raw. By the end, though, he was consistently amongst the club’s top performers, and 2016-17 is his chance to establish himself as a star.
“Of course I have to come again,” added Can of the need to redouble his efforts in pre-season and training ahead of his third Liverpool season. “I’m very happy to be back and can’t wait until the Premier League starts. Now is the time where we can prepare. Sometimes it is not easy, but we have to go through it.”