For most of the 20 minutes he featured, Emre Can was Liverpool's most impressive player on the pitch. He easily slid into a midfield diamond along with Lucas, Joe Allen, and Philippe Coutinho, providing regular glimpses of why Liverpool worked to bring him in. He ventured forward smartly, made a few timely interventions defensively, and was confident and composed in his first appearance as a Liverpool player.
Unfortunately those 20 minutes were all we got, as he first looked to be stretching out a cramp before limping off in some discomfort. It wasn't immediately clear what was wrong, but as the match wore on news filtered out that he'd suffered some sort of calf injury. Brendan Rodgers confirmed as much in his press conference after the 2-1 win, noting that the substitution was only a precaution:
"One of the objectives for the game was to develop our fitness level. I said before the game it was very important that we have no injuries. He just felt a tightness in his calf - he hasn't pulled anything. At this period of the pre-season there's no point in risking anything. He seems fine, just a little bit stiff."
Not the ideal start to Can's Liverpool career by any stretch, having already missed the Brondby friendly with an ankle injury, and hopefully this doesn't interrupt his preparations over the next month. If his performance over the first quarter of an hour was any indication, he's got a chance to be an important part of Liverpool's midfield this season, but he'll need to be fit if that's going to happen.
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