How does Liverpool signing Emre Can compare to reported target Daley Blind?

Liverpool have been linked with Netherlands international Daley Blind following the signing of defensive midfielder Emre Can at Anfield.

The Reds completed the signing of German midfielder Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported fee of £9.75 million this month.

The 20-year-old functions in his preferred position as a defensive midfielder although he can be deployed in central midfield or as a left-back.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Brendan Rodgers may also be interested in Ajax’s Daley Blind currently in Brazil on international duty with Netherlands at the World Cup. Manchester United are also in the frame to sign the 24-year-old who can play also as a defensive midfielder, centre-back or left-back.

Blind made 29 appearances in the Dutch top tier last term for the Eredivisie champions, making the majority as a midfielder, unlike for Holland where he has been playing in defence, while Can made the same number of appearances in the Bundesliga.

Can scored three goals and made three assists to Blind’s one goal and one assist but which of the pair is the better defensively?

Blind made more tackles per game on average, 2.7 to Can’s 2.6, made more interceptions, 2.6 to Can’s 1.6 per game and conceded fewer fouls, one per game to Can’s 1.8 in the Bundesliga.

The Ajax star was also beaten by an attacker less often: He was dribbled past 1.3 times per game to Can’s 1.4 times per game and made more clearances, 2 per game to Can’s 1.4 per game. The pair both averaged 0.2 blocks per game.

The Dutchman also achieved a much higher pass completion rate of an impressive 88.1% to Emre Can’s 77.9% - there is, statistically, no doubt that the Netherlands international is the more experienced and developed compared to the German four years his junior.

Would there be a requirement at Anfield for both? Given that both players are flexible and can function across three positions each, a move for Daley Blind would certainly add more strength in depth to Brendan Rodgers’ squad. 

However, the presence of Lucas Leiva and Daley Blind may block Emre Can’s path to the first team, especially if the Reds move ahead with their pursuit of young left-back Alberto Moreno this summer.

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