There are probably too many names on the list of Liverpool players frequently glued to the bench but who should probably be playing. Liverpool's form and results have dictated the necessity of moving more than a few of those players into the starting line-up or at the very least substitute appearances, and on Friday against Burnley, Emre Can drew the lucky straw when he joined the match upon the restart in place of Kolo Touré.
"He's got a big future here, Emre," Brendan Rodgers enthused. "He's got great athleticism and you saw his presence on the pitch [at Burnley]. He is an outstanding footballer and is a very, very young player who is just acclimatising to the game here.
"I thought he came on and was outstanding [at Burnley]. We needed to build the ball better, our possession wasn't so good and we lost the ball too quickly, which didn't give us a chance to get into good positions on the field in order to keep the ball. Him coming on gave us that assurance in possession and also physicality when we didn't have the ball."
Can was a stand out for forty-five minutes and in theory should have done enough to earn a start against Swansea on Monday. Although Can is one of many midfielders in a clogged area where both Steven Gerrard and now Lucas Leiva seem to be chosen regularly over the German, Rodgers thinks Can shows much promise in positional flexibility to play in a variety of positions.
"His favoured position is more of a defensive player," Rodgers explained, "even though I've played him in an attacking role because I think that's something he can do more of. But if you asked him his profile, he likes to be in that sitting role where he can play and dictate the game as well as be physical in the challenge and duels. He's a player I know can play in a number of positions and play them well. He's someone whose influence will become greater as the season goes on."
Although many are taking the manager's words with many grains of salt lately, speaking with a view to Can's future with the club should still be reassuring for those who worried lack of playing time would stunt his growth. There are also rumours that he's being considered for a role in Jogi Löw's Germany side during qualification for Euro 2016, and these rumours should only strengthen on the back of continued strong performances.
Failing that, it will at least help quell rumours that David Moyes, who was present at Turf Moor on Friday, is hoping to bring Can to Real Sociedad on loan in January.