Liverpool boss expects Emre Can to develop into 'very good player'

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Brendan Rodgers has praised Emre Can in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

Can netted his debut goal for the Merseyside club in the defeat, with his long-range strike deflecting fortuitously off Gary Cahill to nestle in the corner of the goal.

The 20-year-old has been a steady performer for Liverpool this season following his transfer from Bayer Leverkusen, making five appearances in the Premier League on the slow road to recovery from injury. He performed admirably in the Reds 1-0 defeat at Real Madrid on Tuesday, and, despite still not playing at full fitness, he was rewarded with a starting spot against Chelsea. His goal capped a 70 minute spell on the pitch, and in the early stages of the fixture - which Liverpool dominated - Can was a central figure in the midfield area.

However, as fatigue set in, the Chelsea XI took advantage and overran the midfield and final third in the late stages of the first-half, and they were unlucky not to be leading heading into half-time.

Can’s performance was one of few positives for Liverpool in the fixture, and head coach Brendan Rodgers praised the German Under-21 international after the game. Speaking to the official Liverpool website, Rodgers outlined his key talents, and admitted that the 20-year-old is sure to develop into a ‘very good player’.

He said: “He's a big, strong boy who is just coming back to fitness really. He did very well, showing good power and energy in the game.

“He can shoot from distance and got a good goal. He's a young player that is developing very well and I'm sure over the next couple of years he'll prove to be a very good player.

“He's still a very young player at 20 years of age. So games like the one in the week and this will be good for his experience."

With the impending international break, Can has a two-week period to aid his return to match fitness, and - having been called up to the German Under-21 squad to add to his eight caps - he is likely to return to Anfield to play a starting role in their next Premier League tie - a trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday 23.

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