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Liverpool’s boss Jurgen Klopp managed to get rid of their demons, at least temporarily when his side finally managed to beat a side in the bottom half of the table, something they have not been able to do consistently during the start of the season. The Anfield giants remain unbeaten against the top-6 sides in the competition this season but it there story has been different when they played teams from the bottom half of the table.
They’ve now lost three different teams who were placed 20th when facing the Reds. It is not a good record to hold but things seem to have changed as they managed to come back from behind against Sean Dyche’s Burnley to clinch all three points.
Divock Origi missed got the chance the lead his side attack as Roberto Firminio missed the game. Origi acted as a target man but his contribution had very little influence on the score-sheet. Georginio Wijnaldum came up with yet another crucial home goal to get his side level just before the half-time. But the man of the match was Reds midfielder Emre Can.
The German midfielder was tipped as the next best thing for Liverpool at the start of the season but he has failed to find any consistency in his game and he seemed to be going from bad to worse. He has also been dragging his contract negotiations with Liverpool and there a lot of confusion has surround his future at Anfield this season.
With Jordan Henderson out injured, Klopp had to stick with Can for the games against Arsenal and Burnley. For the most part of the season, The German was totaling off beat and it looked as though the boss had a mistake. However, he maintained balance against Arsenal when his side won 3-1 and he looked brilliant against Burnley as well.
After the break in the game against Burnley, with the game tied at 1-1, the Reds looked lethargic in the final third and vulnerable at the back. It looked like they were going to drop points yet again in stepped the 23-year-old, who smart and accurate finish from out the box earned his side three very important points. Since that goal, the German looked like a totally difference player as he helped Liverpool see off the game without further troubles.
In the game against Liverpool, the 23-year-old made 60 passes which is more than any other Liverpool player that night, while also strong in the defensive area, he won 5 aerial duels and 2 tackles. Can also made 5 clearances – more than than any other Liverpool player on the night and his 2 right passes were also right up there with the best.
One will probably questioned his inclusion in the starting eleven that start against Burnley as it took him some time to get used to the game in the beginning but there cannot be any complaints about this work in the final half-hour of the game. This is something Liverpool have missed this season.
Henderson has done a great job for Liverpool in a deeper midfield role against top sides for Liverpool this season but Can is the only player that can best fit in the CDM role in game against the smaller sides. He can bully and dominate the midfield, winning aerial duels and capable of acting as a cover for the back-4. Can attacking instincts will help Jurgen Klopp’s side add numbers in attack and if he can get used to the defensive side of the game well, he can be the player who can solve Liverpool’s problems against smaller teams in the league.
Finally, reports are saying Liverpool are set to spend big in the summer for a new midfielder, whilst Emre Can has been linked with an exit from the club. However, Can’s performance against Sean Dyche’s side reveals why Klopp still has trusts in him. He is a unique player with some amazing skills and if he can gather some form and consistency, he will turn out to be an important integral for Liverpool in the years to come. At least for now, he deserves less criticism for his role in the side.