Does signing Emre Can mean there will be changes within the Liverpool team?

Emre Can playing for Bayern Munich in 2013

The versatile player seems to one who gives the side a lot of options.

Liverpool have announced their second signing of the summer transfer window in the form of 20-year-old midfielder Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen.

Can follows Rickie Lambert into Anfield for a fee believed to worth around £10 million as the Reds look to conclude their transfer business relatively swiftly.

The signing does throw up a few questions as to what sort of role he will have in the Liverpool side next season, and whether there is going to be a slight change in the way the Reds play as a result of his signing.

Manager Brendan Rodgers hasn’t exactly been someone who is afraid to change his system in order to accommodate players or to execute a game plan, but the Reds have also signed a player who has a reputation for his versatility.

Can can play all over the midfielder as well as being able to fill in at centre-back and left-back. The Reds are known to want more defensive options next season following a campaign where they conceded 50 goals in the Premier League alone.

The former Bayern midfielder’s best position is defensive midfield, a role which Steven Gerrard had ‘reinvented’ himself in over the past season and, especially on the ball, looked to be finding some of his best form.

One thing for Rodgers to address will be, how this player fits in. Will there be a change of system? Is he going to play on one side of a diamond formation with Jordan Henderson on the other? Will he have 20-year-old Can doing the leg work of a 34-year-old Gerrard? Could he be cover for much of the side, and someone to be rotated as the side tries to compete on four fronts?

There is also the issue of other midfielders at the club. The likelihood is that along with Gerrard and Henderson, Can could be competing with Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen in the midfield. With Can supposedly more defensive minded, it could raise the eyebrows of Lucas in particular, who saw himself playing second fiddle to Gerrard for the second half of the season, and the Brazilian probably regards himself as a specialist defensive midfielder.

What we do know is that Emre Can featured in seven out of eight of Bayer Leverkusen’s Champions League games last season, so has experience of the competition which Liverpool are about to enter after a five-year absence.

Also, he’s a young player who is versatile which seems to fit the profile that Brendan Rodgers likes in a player. As we have seen from Rodgers with younger players, they have played in different positions to where they started their career when in the first team – notably Raheem Sterling has at times been moved into a more central position when he’s been accustomed to playing on the wing, and Jordan Henderson has also played in a variety of positions during his time at Anfield.

Some may compare Can to top German footballers like Bastian Schweinsteiger, some may say the move has come a little too early for him after just the one season at Leverkusen. For now this move has thrown up a lot of questions, which means he is likely to give Liverpool a lot more options, and we’re going to have to wait until pre-season at the earliest until we begin to find out any of those answers.

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