With Jordan Henderson sidelined for protracted periods last season, and with Lucas Leiva occasionally being called to set up shop in the back four, Emre Can became something of a permanent fixture in the middle of the park for Liverpool while dealing with persistent calf issues of his own. While there are still question marks around how best to use the player, Jürgen Klopp clearly feels that the young midfielder can be an important contributor to the squad, hence the grumblings among supporters about the lack of a contract extension for Can.
Can caused a few scares recently when it was reported that he had hurt himself in training while on duty for Germany in the Confederations Cup. Even though Joachim Löw had described the injury as minor, this was not good news for Liverpool given that preseason training is not that far away. At the time, it was widely expected that, as a precaution, Can would not feature in Germany’s match against Cameroon.
So it might be a case of good news-bad news for Liverpool supporters when it was announced that Can would indeed start against Cameroon at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. On the one hand, it was undoubtedly positive that the injury appears not to have been significant, allowing Can to put in a quietly impressive performance during the first half of the match (which is still underway as of this writing). On the other hand, Klopp will be hoping that the midfielder isn’t playing though pain and that any injury isn’t aggravated.
Just pay the man, Liverpool.
UPDATE: And no sooner does this piece go live that Emre Can takes a high foot to the side of his knee. It looks ugly, but Can appears able to continue, while the Cameroon player is given a red card after video review.