Liverpool's game with Besiktas last night gave Emre Can the chance to return to his preferred position in central midfield, having impressed as part of a defensive three in recent weeks.
Unfortunately for him and the Reds, it was a midfield missing engine man Jordan Henderson, and Can and his teammates struggled to make an impression on a Besiktas side that earned a 1-0 win, before knocking the Anfield outfit on penalties.
Below we take a look at Can's stats on the night:
|Team||Total Scoring Att||Total Att Assist||Passing Accuracy||Passes||Duels Won||Fouls|
He failed to register any shots on goal, and Can also exhibited a disappointing passing accuracy of 74%, way off the standard normally expected by Brendan Rodgers, and putting him down as one of the worst passers on display for the Reds.
Given the way the game went, it's perhaps no surprise to see that the German made more of a defensive contribution than an attacking one. It was something the former Bayern Munich graduate did well, winning more tackles (6) than any other Liverpool man, and also winning four aerial duels. Can did commit five fouls though, more than any other player except Mario Balotelli, and was outperformed by his teammates when it came to intercepting and clearing the ball, while also being booked for diving.
One area of his attacking game that he did impress in was beating his man, doing so on three occasions - the joint-highest in the side - hinting at what he could do if he got into more advanced positions.
It appears that if Can is to step into central midfield and become anything like the box-to-box player Steven Gerrard has been for Liverpool, something some observers have said the summer recruit from Bayer Leverkusen may be capable of doing, he will need the support of those around him, not to mention time.
Luckily, at 21-years-old, he has plenty of years to develop his game, and alongside Henderson he should have the right kind of midfield partner too.