Emre Can is officially a Juventus player after a year spent waiting for it. To say his departure has grown tiring is an understatement, taking so long to complete that by the time it was done Liverpool had officially both released Can and signed his replacement, bringing in Fabinho from Monaco.
Today, though, it’s official. And with that we can be glad of a few things. Glad that Can, still so promising if at times frustrating in his inconsistency, chose to leave England. Glad that Can, while he remained at Anfield, appeared determined to work hard for his teammates and manager Jürgen Klopp.
His method of departure, dragging out the decision for as long as he did while there was no real belief of him ending up anywhere but Juventus, means fans long ago stopped thinking of him as a Liverpool player. Still, he does deserve credit for the way he tried to play before he left the club.
Can joined Liverpool in 2014 from Bayer Leverkusen after Liverpool triggered his £9.75M release clause. Since, he’s played 166 games in all competitions, around 40 in each of his four seasons at the club. He was an important player, and a player who often seemed on the verge of greatness.
That greatness, though, never quite came. His time at Liverpool was marred by minor fitness issues that often impacted his stamina, and he always rather seemed a player stuck between positions after arriving at the club with no one quite sure what his best midfield role would be.
Now he leaves it still with no one quite knowing what his best role is. But he’s talented, and he’s powerful, and if he can put it all together—either developing the defensive nous to play the six or finding a side that doesn’t demand elite lateral mobility and acceleration from an eight—he’ll thrive.
With Liverpool refusing to give in to his contract demands, the player wanting to both be paid like a top level star and to have the release clause of a fringe player, he will get his chance to put it all together at Juventus. Despite the long and at times awkward departure, we wish him well.