Liverpool supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern in the early stages of 2018 after seeing their side begin the year with a narrow 2-1 success over Burnley at Turf Moor, thus consolidating their position in the Premier League’s top four.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into the New Year off the back of important victories over Swansea City and Leicester City, results which saw them maintain a healthy lead over Arsenal and Tottenham in the race to finish in the Champions League positions. And they continued their march towards a second successive campaign in Europe’s elite competition as a Ragnar Klavan header in the fourth minute of added time was enough to clinch all three points for the Merseyside giants, who had moments earlier been pegged back as Johann Gundmundsson’s effort cancelled out Sadio Mane’s excellent first half strike.
Subsequently, there have been many thrilled Liverpudlians in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are daring to dream about what their team could go on to achieve in the second half of the campaign, be it domestically or in Europe.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Reds fans to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that midfielder Emre Can is set to remain at the club beyond the January window.
The 23-year-old’s future has been subject to speculation given his expiring contract, with Juventus heavily linked with the Germany international, yet recent reports outline that the former Bayern Munich star will stay on Merseyside this month.
And Can’s likely stay should be exactly what Liverpool fans and manager Klopp want to hear, as the 23-year-old will surely play a huge part in their success in the second half of the campaign, given how influential he has been since Klopp’s arrival. And if he is to leave the club after all, it simply must be in the summer.
Ultimately, the German midfielder played a key role in helping the Reds return to the Champions League last season with 32 Premier League appearances in all, in which time he chipped in with five goals and a few assists to further underline the huge impact he had.
Arguably, the 23-year-old became Liverpool’s most dependable and accomplished midfielder last season and has slowly but surely become a much better player under Klopp, in huge contrast to the Can that was often played out of position by former boss Brendan Rodgers.
Yet take him out of the side now, and the Reds certainly lose something in that central midfield department, and while he still has much improving to do, there’s little doubt that the talent is there for Can to go on and become a quality midfielder.
He has been too influential and important to Klopp in the last 18 months or so for him to leave the club this month – after all, the Reds are in a battle to finish in the top four again, and losing Can would surely weaken their chances of doing so.
Add in the possible departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, and Klopp cannot afford to lose two key first teamers, especially as things appear to be clicking into place given his side’s 13-match unbeaten run, and a winnable Champions League last 16 tie against Porto to come.
And while a new contract isn’t necessarily a given, even if he were to remain at the club, one would argue that the longer he is at Liverpool, the more likely he is to pen a new deal, especially if they do indeed meet expectations in the second half of the campaign, and perhaps win a trophy.
All in all, reports that Can looks set to stay should be well received by Liverpool fans, as having the £25.2 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) around in the second half of the campaign certainly enhances their top four hopes, and furthers the fact that, if he is to leave Liverpool, it has to be in the summer.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!