Emre Can has admitted that it has not been easy watching from the sidelines as Liverpool have thrived in his enforced absence.
The midfielder made his return from injury in Tuesday’s 3-0 victory at Derby County in the third round of the EFL Cup, coming on as a 57th-minute substitute for Jordan Henderson. That was Can’s first appearance since hurting his right ankle in the 5-0 second-round victory at Burton Albion in late August, a period in which Liverpool have recorded impressive wins against the last two Premier League champions, Leicester City and Chelsea.
“It’s not easy but I have to be patient. I try to train hard and if I get game time then I try to play well and then we will see what happens,” said the Germany international. “I am happy to be back and now I have to get my fitness back and then I am looking forward to the season. Of course it was not a good time for me. It was difficult because I came back late to pre-season and I was not fit for the start of the season and then I got the injury and then it was difficult for me. Now I am back I want to stay healthy and get my fitness back.”
Can is seen as a key part of Jürgen Klopp’s first-team plans on the back of a string of impressive displays under his compatriot last season, with some even touting the 22-year-old as a future Liverpool captain. However, he may struggle to reclaim his place given how well Liverpool’s current midfielders – Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana – are performing.
“They have done it very well,” conceded Can. “Adam, Hendo and Gini have played well together and you can see by the results and the good football – I saw it as well myself as I play with them in the team and I was very happy for them.
“We bought very good players and we have a strong squad. If you saw the last few games we were very strong and we have to keep it up. If you play with good players the levels go up, it is normal.”
Can could start Saturday’s league encounter against Hull City at Anfield. He is certainly keen to be involved and for Liverpool to extend their winning run to four matches. “We want to keep the momentum going and we want to win the game,” he said.