Liverpool legend echoes Jamie Carragher's view on Emre Can

Emre Can playing for Bayern Munich in 2013

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol believe Emre Can is found wanting at the back.

Speaking on ESPN FC TV, Steve Nicol has echoed fellow Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher in criticising the defensive performances of Emre Can.

Can, 21, joined Liverpool from Leverkusen in June for £9.75 million, but struggled to break into the line-up over the first few months of the season.

Manager Brendan Rodgers’ recent decision to shift to a 3-4-3 formation, however, has seen the central midfielder start on the right-hand side of a back-three for the past six games, with the club’s form making a noticeable improvement since.

The German Under-21 international has earned impressive reviews from fans and the media alike in his new role, but found himself on the end of criticism from Carragher this week after conceding Eden Hazard’s spot-kick in the 1-1 Capital One Cup draw with Chelsea.

“He found it really difficult and looked like a midfielder playing at the back,” Carragher told Sky Sports.

“People say he's been doing well recently in relation to bringing the ball out, but it was clumsy and a penalty, no doubt about it.”

A sizeable number of Liverpool fans panned Carragher’s comments in the aftermath, but Nicol has now backed up his opinion, adding: “The reason they lost a goal was because of his defending.

“Can on the ball is good, but he’s not a defender. He’s not good one-on-one, and we saw that with the goal.”

It remains to be seen how much longer Can will continue in his makeshift role at the back but, considering the recent performances of £20 million summer signing Dejan Lovren, he could well be set to remain there for the foreseeable future.

Regardless, though, even if he is found out in defence at times, his nous for filling a number of roles on the pitch makes him a huge asset to the Reds squad moving forward.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch