Although he’s uncomfortable with the notable comparisons being drawn to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, Reds midfielder Emre Can is looking to step up and lead by example this season as he looks to take the reigns and finally come in to his own at Anfield.
“I want to be the one pushing the team on. The new midfield leader can be me, of course,” said the German, speaking to the press ahead of Liverpool’s friendly with Barcelona. “I have played a lot of games for Liverpool and know I am still young but I have to show it on the pitch now. I can say I am a leader but you have to show it. Of course we have other leaders like Hendo or [James] Milner,” explained the 22-year old. “We all want to do it—I am like that. I want to be the one pushing the team on.”
An injury hit season for Reds skipper Jordan Henderson saw Can take a much bigger role in the midfield over the last year, picking up plaudits from both pundits and punters alike along the way. While there have been calls for him to take the armband ahead of the new campaign, there’s been nothing concrete coming out of Anfield to indicate that the manager is looking for a change and any whispers about a shake-up seem far off the mark — for now anyways.
“I have a very good relationship with the manager, everybody knows that. He is a very, very good manager and I learn a lot. Every day I learn something new from him,” enthused the powerful midfielder. “For me, it’s very important to have the trust of the manager, and I have his trust. That’s why I can always show my best,” added Can. “I want to become better every day. I will try it and we will see what the season will bring. Of course, I want to be better than last season and I want to score more, that’s one target for me. I want to play well.”