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Can "Actively Asked" for the Number 23 Kit Upon Arriving at Liverpool

It may be subtle as a ton of bricks, but the number Emre Can chooses to wear on his back every match speaks volumes about the young player's ambitions at Liverpool.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

To borrow a phrase from our very own Trev, some players just "get it." A team needs all sorts of players and personality types to function properly, but at its core it needs players who have a good sense of their club and a good sense of their role within it, both on and off the pitch.

Since signing in the summer, Emre Can has quickly become a favourite due since returning from injury and putting in a series of performances that have made it nearly impossible for Brendan Rodgers to drop him. What's also becoming more and more apparent is the young German's leadership in the squad, the symbol of which he firmly pursued upon arrival on Merseyside.

"I’m obviously aware of the importance of number 23 in Liverpool history," Can confirmed. "It’s a big honour for me to wear the number 23 after [Jamie] Carragher retired but I don’t feel any extra pressure as such.

"At the end of the day it’s a number that you play and the team has to pick a number. For me it wouldn’t make a difference to wear 23 or 99, I always go out there and do my best for the team. But I definitely wanted the number 23 because there is a high importance for this number – I actively asked for it."

Can is still only twenty-one years-old, with many seasons of learning and growth ahead of him, but his self-awareness over the type of role he covets at Liverpool is certainly beyond his years. Jordan Henderson may be the captain-elect in most fans' minds, and Can is already leading the polls to be the Englishman's deputy next season.

Saying the man bleeds red and fully understands the Liverpool Way™ might be jumping the gun a bit after only three-quarters of a season spent on his new team, but at the very least Can's attitude bodes well for what type of player he might be after bedding in for a few seasons and becoming one of the club's next generation leaders. For now, he's content with where he's at with his game, even if he is a bit perplexed at his manager referring to him as a "Rolls Royce" footballer.

"I know what it means but we would not use that expression in Germany at all," Can said. "I’d never heard it before. I obviously thought it’s a big, luxurious car so I just associated positively things with it."

Indeed. Though both have their place in the Liverpool FC garage of laboured metaphors, better to be a Rolls Royce than a Reliant Robin.

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