Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has done a fantastic job in not only bringing in some absolutely world-class players, but in keeping the squad together. He has managed to steadily grow the squad in depth and quality, training the players to be better where he can, and bringing in new talent in a targeted and strategic manner.
The two notable exceptions, both leaving in 2018, were Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can. Coutinho’s failure at Camp Nou (and subsequent ejection from it) has been the highest of high profile failures. Barcelona gonna Barcelona, after all.
Emre Can, on the other hand, left a lot more quietly on a free transfer to Juventus. And his gradual dropping down the pecking order, too, has been far more low profile than Coutinho’s.
However, while Coutinho got his move away from what had become a toxic atmosphere at Barcelona, Can is stuck at Juventus, and now appears set to miss out on Champions League action. The Serie A club named their 21-man squad for Europe’s top competition, and he was not on it. Instead, manager Maurizio Sarri went with his preferred midfield trio of Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, and Blaise Matuidi, as well as new signings (both on free transfers, like Can) Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey.
Last season, Can made 37 appearances across all competitions for Juventus, but so far has just one half-hour sub appearance to his name this season. And considering he’s set to miss out on Champions League action, playing time could be hard to come by for the former Liverpool player.
It now seems fair to say that both Can and Coutinho represent cautionary tales for any current Klopp charges who think the grass might be greener on the other side. Liverpool have a very good thing going right now, and the stars who are making it happen don’t have to look very far to see how quickly it can go horribly wrong elsewhere.