Emre Can born 12 January 1994 is a German professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for English club Liverpool and the Germany national team. A versatile player, Can has also played as a defensive midfielder, centre back and full back.
He began his senior career at Bayern Munich, playing mostly in the club’s reserve side before transferring to Bayer Leverkusen in 2013. A season later, he was signed by Liverpool for £9.75 million where he has since made over 150 appearances across all competitions.
Can represented Germany from Under-15 to Under-21 level, and featured at the 2015 Under-21 European Championship. He made his senior debut in September 2015 and was selected for the 2016 European Championship. The following year, he was part of the German squad which won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
On 5 June 2014, Bayer Leverkusen confirmed that Can would join Premier League runners-up, Liverpool after the Merseyside club activated his £9.75 million (€12 million) release clause. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers described Can in a press conference later in the week as an “inspirational young talent”.The transfer was completed on 3 July 2014.
Can made his competitive debut for the club on 25 August 2014, coming on as a substitute for Joe Allen in an 3–1 away defeat against Manchester City. The following month, he picked up an ankle injury while on duty with the German under-21 side and was sidelined for six weeks. On 19 October, following his return from injury, Can made his first start for Liverpool in a 3–2 win against Queens Park Rangers. He scored his first Liverpool goal on 8 November with a long-range shot past Thibaut Courtois, opening the scoring in an eventual 2–1 defeat to Chelsea. Against the same opponent in a League Cup semi-final defeat on 27 January 2015, Can was stamped on by Chelsea forward Diego Costa. Referee Michael Oliver did not penalise the incident, but Costa was retrospectively banned for three matches by the FA. In April, Can received his first red card for Liverpool in 4–1 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Though naturally a midfielder, Can spent much of his debut season playing in defence, and ultimately featured 40 times for the campaign across all competitions.
On 22 October 2015, in Liverpool’s UEFA Europa League match against Rubin Kazan at Anfield, Can scored his first goal of the 2015–16 season. It was the club’s first goal under the management of Can’s compatriot and new manager Jürgen Klopp. On 14 February 2016, he scored his first league goal of the season in a 6–0 win over Aston Villa. While Can was often used at centre back or full back under Rodgers, with Klopp’s arrival he was moved to his preferred position of central midfielder. He was praised by Klopp for his improvement and became a key cog in Liverpool’s midfield.
On 14 April 2016, Can ruptured his ankle ligaments in the Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund. Initially, he was ruled out for the rest of the domestic season. However, he returned ahead of schedule and played in the second leg of the semi-final against Villarreal. Can later revealed that he trained for 8 hours a day for 3 weeks to get fit for the Villarreal game.
On 1 May 2017, Can scored an overhead kick in a win over Watford, with the strike later earning him the BBC Goal of the Season and Carling Goal of the Season awards.
On 23 August 2017, Can scored twice against Hoffenheim in the second leg of the Champions League play-off round in a 4–2 win for Liverpool on the night, and a 6–3 win on aggregate. These were his first goals for Liverpool in the new season.