It’s safe to say Emre Can proved his worth to Liverpool in their 3-0 win against Huddersfield last night.
The German was given a more free role in midfield, with Jordan Henderson and James Milner behind him, and he reaped the rewards, firing an effort from distance into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
After Roberto Firmino doubled the Reds’ lead on the stroke of half-time, Can won the penalty which allowed Mo Salah to score the third.
The win moves Jurgen Klopp’s men level on points with Chelsea in third, and five clear of Spurs in fifth, with the two teams meeting at Anfield on Sunday.
But it was Can that stole the show and the headlines, particularly given all of the speculation surrounding his future in recent months.
Can joined Liverpool in 2014 from Bayer Leverkusen for £9.75m, but there has been intense rumours about him leaving to join Juventus, or even former club Bayern Munich.
He’s out of contract in the summer, which means he is currently able to discuss a pre-contract deal with any foreign club, which would see the Reds lose him for absolutely nothing.
However, his performances have retained commitment and energy, and there is still some hope amongst fans that he may sign a new contract to remain at Anfield.
And Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard had his say on the matter as a pundit on BT Sport’s coverage of the match last night.
If the former club captain is right, then it is bad news for the Reds.
Gerrard thinks that if he was going to stay, he would’ve signed a new contract by now, so he can only see one possible outcome.
“I think you can see that he’s been asked the question many times and if he had decided he was
going to stay at Liverpool, I think everyone would know that by now,” he stated.
“You still have that little bit of hope as a Liverpool fan that he might change his mind but for me, for it to go to the back end of January it’s a concern.”
The 24-year-old put in a man-of-the-match display at the John Smith’s Stadium, with his second goal of the season key in Klopp’s men bouncing back from defeats to Swansea in the Premier League and West Brom in the FA Cup.
When interviewed after the match, Can seemed to validate Gerrard’s point by reacting in a frustrated manner to questions about his future.
“Really I said 100 times I think, I have a contract here and I will give always what I have – the other things are between my agent,” he confirmed.
And Gerrard thinks Liverpool should’ve pushed harder for the German to remain at Anfield, because he believes he has improved no end under Klopp’s coaching.
He added that the fans deserve some loyalty from the midfielder, due to their belief in his ability.
“I think Liverpool have made him a better player and in Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff I think they are perfect for him,” Gerrard said.
“I can’t make decisions for Emre Can but for me, in his shoes, I would be a bit more patient with Liverpool and I would hang on. I think Liverpool – the club and the fans – have a lot of belief in him.”
It will be interesting to see how those fans react when, in all likelihood, Can departs on a free transfer later this year.