How Emre Can justified whatever contract demands he's asking for from Liverpool against Hoffenheim
Emre Can is still yet to put pen to paper on a new contract for Liverpool with only 12 months left to run, but he showed just how important he is to Liverpool as he scored two goals inside 21 minutes to race Liverpool to a 3-0 lead over Hoffenheim on Wednesday night.
His early contribution all but secured a place in the Champions League group stages. His perfectly timed runs twice saw him appear in the right place at the right time to rifle home a finish past Oliver Baumann after good work down the left flank by the likes of Sadio Mane and Alberto Moreno.
That movement arriving in the box showed how Can made his case to step into the role vacated by the injured Adam Lallana and the wantaway Philippe Coutinho as he looked to burst into a more attacking role at the edge of the box as Liverpool mounted the pressure on their opposition.
However, it was a really clinical display from the German, in which much of his impact came off the ball. He did not allow the Bundesliga side a moment’s peace in possession and covered every blade of grass as he looked to close them down right from the front and in midfield.
On the ball, he had fewer touches than any other starting player with just 34, less than half of that registered by his midfield partners Georgino Wijnaldum (68 touches) and Jordan Henderson (69 touches). Whilst Can was substituted, he was only taken off 20 minutes before the final whistle.
He was very effective on the ball though. His pass completion ratio of 95.7% was highly impressive as he looked to keep possession. His calm presence in the middle of the park was vital, particularly after that 20 minute spell of complete dominance, as he calmed the tempo and dictated play from a deeper role.
Can’s display showed exactly the kind of quality that Liverpool are looking for as they return to Europe’s elite competition after three years away. Can was an inexperienced youngster at that time, now he looks ready to lead this Liverpool side on their adventure around Europe, and the club must given him a long term contract to meet his demands and secure his services for years to come.
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