Imminent Liverpool signing Emre Can: Statistics and thoughts 2

Emre

When rumours of Liverpool’s interest in Emre Can first appeared, it was easy to be sceptical; those who have watched him play for Leverkusen will probably agree that he’s different from the typical Brendan Rodgers player.  He’s not slight, his game isn’t reliant purely on his first-touch or his passing range, and he has a physicality which you don’t associate with the contemporary Liverpool side.

But think about it: that’s probably what makes him appealing to Rodgers - Can will provide something different and a variation to a midfield which can be a little one-dimensional sometimes.

Although he is a physical player, don’t assume him to be unrefined - he’s actually extremely skillful and is a really nice blend of power and craftiness.  While he may be billed as a defensive-midfielder, that’s actually a reductive description: he’s very creative, is elegant in possession, and can conceivably play a range of different midfield positions - and he can apparently play as a left-back, although I’ve never seen him in that role.

The media are claiming that the fee will be around £12m, and if that is the case it would be tremendous business - although it is strange that Leverkusen would allow him to leave just a year after signing him.  However, this isn’t like bringing in a Luis Alberto or Iago Aspas, because Emre Can would represent a genuine upgrade to the first-team.   I don’t pretend to be an authority on him, but I’ve seen enough to think that this could really work for Liverpool.

Here are some statistics from his 2013/14 in the Bundesliga:

- Started 24 games and made 5 substitute appearances.

- Scored 3 goals.

- Provide 3 assists.

- Was yellow-carded 9 times.

- Averaged 1.2 shots per game.

- Completed 78.1% of his passes.

- Won 65 of the 107 aerial duels he contested.

- Averaged 2.6 tackles per game.

- Averaged 1.5 interceptions per 90 minutes.

- Made 43 defensive-clearances.

- Created 16 goal-scoring opportunities.

- Completed 10 of his 57 attempted crosses.

- Completed 77 of his 120 attempted long-passes.

- Averaged 36.4 passes per game.

- Averaged 2.5 successful dribbles per game.

Follow @premleagueowl

Latest article for Squawka: Time for Chelsea to make the Petr Cech/Thibaut Courtois decision