The problems that manager Jürgen Klopp face in midfield are the kind that Liverpool fans have been wishing for over the last several seasons. His players are doing so well for him that competition is fierce for those precious few positions on the pitch. It’s hard to imagine who out of the midfield trio of captain Jordan Henderson, new addition Gini Wijnaldum, and white hot Adam Lallana loses their place when fit. And yet, waiting in the wings are the likes of Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge, players of incredibly high quality.
Can, who was kept out of the side early this season with an injury, was one of Liverpool’s most important players last season, but now he’s found himself having to work back into Klopp’s starting XI. The young German international is confident he can prove himself to the manager now that he is fit again.
Talking with the official website, Can said, “I am a very, very bad watcher! Of course I’m always happy when my team wins, but it’s always different when you play.”
“I have to work hard. I have to get fitness back. If I get game time – which is always different to training – I have to work hard on my game and get confidence again. That’s very important for me. I haven’t played so many minutes this season but of course my target is to play a lot of minutes again.
“It is always better to play and be on the pitch. For me, it has been a little bit unlucky so far this season because I came back a little bit late and had a very short break after the Euros.
“Then I came back and got an injury. The team did very well and then I came back and it was not easy to get back into the team. Now I have to continue the work, I have to work hard. And I am confident enough that if I am ready and fit, I will play one day.”
Can is a player who has proved himself to two managers now, and in several different positions on the pitch. It’s unknown whether Adam Lallana will be fit to face Manchester United on October 17th, and while Sturridge would seem the obvious substitute in that situation, Can has the long run up to the game to put himself in the conversation.
There’s no doubt that he will get playing time this season, even without European competition. He’s simply too talented to be kept out for long. However, the real question is whether he can work himself back into being an automatic starter for Klopp.
Good problems to have, and long may they continue.