An ankle knock to Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson during England training could pave the way for £10 million summer signing Emre Can to secure a place in the first team.
Henderson will be assessed by England’s medical staff today before former Reds boss Roy Hodgson decides whether he should feature against Switzerland and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping England play the smart game.
Should Henderson return from the international break with a problem, which stops him from starting the game against Aston Villa this weekend, Rodgers does have options which have been created by his summer signings.
One option is to install former Bayer Leverkusen man Can in front of Liverpool’s back four, releasing Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho to play more advanced and attacking roles.
With Raheem Sterling and Lazar Markovic on either side of the midfield, Can can sit and focus on his job of disrupting the Aston Villa attack and preventing them from hurting Liverpool’s defence on the counter.
Another option is to start Adam Lallana in place of Henderson and risk a little bit of the defensive stability that Can could provide if given the chance to occupy the space in front of Liverpool’s back four.
Can has already made his Premier League debut for the club but he hasn’t started a game.
Therefore, there’s an obvious worry that he could be behind his Liverpool teammates in terms of match fitness but Rodgers can make a late change should the side be comfortable.
Can’s passing stats this season suggest that he’s a safe and simple player to have in the midfield; he has a passing accuracy rating of 95.8% and is making 1.5 tackles per game on average.
Any absence from Henderson can be taken care because Liverpool have far greater squad depth than at this point last year. It’s a blow not having the most versatile English midfielder available but the Reds have a hungry young player ready to step into the team.