Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has admitted he is not 100 per cent ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
Can was one of the later arrivals for pre-season training following his participation with Germany at Euro 2016, as he featured for the side in their semi-final defeat to France.
The 22-year-old has played three 45-minute spells during the pre-season games with the Reds facing Arsenal in their opening match of the season on Sunday afternoon.
The German told the official Liverpool website: “To be honest I’m not 100 per cent and I have to work hard to get there.
“I have been working hard to get there for next week, then we will see how far along I am.”
Can's importance to the Liverpool midfield grew as the season went on last term as he featured heavily in their run to the Europa League final, while manager Jurgen Klopp seemed to trust his presence at the heart of the team.
One would think that Klopp has reservations about playing any player that is not quite up to speed but that could be said for a few players at the club, and elsewhere, given the busy international schedule during the summer.
Ideally, one or two players would have liked more minutes under their belt but it would raise a few eyebrows if Can was not part of the starting XI at the Emirates Stadium.
Both Jordan Henderson and summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum could be in contention for a starting place in the middle of the park, while Marko Grujic's impressive displays this summer may see him become a factor as the season gets underway.
Given Liverpool have several different options in many areas of the field, the starting XI on the opening day is pretty hard to predict but even if he is under-cooked, several will want to see Can line up at the heart of things.