Emre Can's last significant appearance was a 70 minute showing against Chelsea at Anfield where he scored a goal and was one of the best players on the pitch on another disappointing 90 minutes for Liverpool FC. The home defeat provided another opportunity for an inquest, but the quality of Emre Can was confirmed as he held his own against the Premier League leaders. The former Bayer Leverkusen player had shown flashes of his bulldozing qualities in midfield but confirmed the excitement of many fans about this young, imposing figure.
Early November seems a long time ago, but Can only had two sixteen minute substitute appearances since featuring against José Mourinho's side. However, Brendan Rodgers produced a surprise as he brought on Emre Can at half-time for Kolo Touré as a right-sided centre back. It was a curious move with Liverpool playing poorly but still level at the break as Can could provide the energy and physicality the midfield desperately lacked with Henderson stationed on the right and Gerrard partnering Lucas in the middle.
Can was assured in defence, making key clearances and an interception. He was also composed in possession in an unfamiliar position. He may have played there before in a number of games but his work belongs in midfield, so his excellence was even more impressive. His pass completion was considerably superior to the more experienced player he replaced and won as many aerials as any other Liverpool player despite playing for half the contest. Brendan Rodgers duly recognised and praised the impact of Emre Can on the game, but will we see more of the youngster or wonder why another good performance is rewarded with a place on the bench?