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Can "Still Getting Accustomed" to Pace of the Premier League

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Minutes have been limited for Emre Can after a promising preseason, but the midfielder is upbeat about his first few months and Liverpool and focused on more to come.

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Jamie McDonald

The fixture congestion Liverpool are about to experience should afford slightly more variation in the personnel Brendan Rodgers selects in the starting eleven; the League Cup tie against Middlesbrough should see a side full of changes, and with the Champions League opener against Ludogorets in between a pair of Premier League matches a week earlier, we're bound to get an extended look at a handful of names that haven't had much time yet.

That should include Emre Can, who was among Liverpool's strongest performers in the preseason but has yet to earn a start. In a midfield that sees Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson selected automatically that's always going to be a tall task, and the form of Joe Allen to start the season has made it even more difficult for the 20-year-old, who's come on as a substitute in each of Liverpool's first three matches of the season.

A more limited role is all part of the process for Can, who acknowledges that he's still getting used to his new surroundings:

"All of the players have taken me on board and they've taken the time to get to know me - that has been really helpful. The coach talks to me a lot and tells me how I can improve.

"It's very important that he seeks out contact with the players. As everyone else has told me, he explained that English football is played at a high tempo and I'll have to become accustomed to that. But I will and I will get better through that dialogue."

The international break has afforded another glimpse at his much-heralded versatility; while away on U21 duty for Germany he started in central defense, putting together (at least from the individual highlights below, HT to Slumdog Mignolet in the comments of the Sakho post) a dominant display despite not featuring in that role for months. We're yet to see Rodgers use him anywhere outside of central midfield, but performances like these are a good reminder of why his signing was viewed as such a coup in the first place.


Video by MrBoywunder