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An Introduction to Liverpool's Latest Signing: Midfielder Emre Can

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Familiarize yourself with Liverpool's new German playmaker, who Liverpool have reportedly agreed on a £9.8m fee to sign.

Alex Grimm

I'm going to be honest. Most of what I know about Emre Can, I've learned very recently. So, I figure most of you know relatively little about him as well. Let's take a look at what Can brings to the table, and what his signing means for Liverpool.

Emre Can began his youth career at Eintracht Frankfurt, but moved to Bayern Munich's youth system at the age of 15. He spent 6 years in Bayern's system where he had 31 appearances and 3 goals for Bayern II, but only played 4 games for the first team. Last summer, after Bayern decided he wasn't good enough to break into their absolutely stacked midfield anytime soon, but was too good to continue missing out on first team football, Munich sold Can to Bayer Leverkusen. Can made 39 total appearances for Leverkusen (including 7 in the Champion's League), and scored 4 goals. He put together a very impressive campaign for a 20 year old, and it's no surprise Liverpool took interest.

Germany has utilized Can at the U15, U16, U17, U19, and U21 levels. He captained their U17 side in the 2011 U17 World Cup, where Germany reached the semi-finals. Although Emre was born in Germany, he is of Turkish descent, and is eligible to play for the Turkish National Team. He may have an easier time breaking into the Turkish team, but Can has expressed that he's really enjoyed playing in the German youth system, and intends to continue working towards making the German team.

Can looks to be a rising star. His biggest assets are his fantastic playmaking ability, and his very impressive dribbling skills. He's also very good with both feet, and he's known to make some smart forward runs. Something else Can can provide is extreme versatility. Although he prefers to play as a central midfielder, he' also very capable playing on the left of the midfield and attacking the opponent's fullback, and he's also played all the way across the back line. This versatility will surely help him break into a Liverpool lineup that already has several well established players at center mid. However, there's no question that his future is as a center mid.

Emre Can is often compared to Bastian Schweinsteiger because of his ability to seamlessly switch between attacking and defending, and because  he has the ability to boss the midfield and control the tempo of the game. Some people are hyping him up as the long term replacement for Steven Gerrard because he excels in the deep-lying playmaker role.

Expect Can to play a large role for Liverpool next season. He may not see a ton of time in the central midfield role that he prefers, but his versatility should help him see a fair amount of playing time, especially with the team playing in the Champion's League. He brings a lot to the table, and his future certainly looks very bright. All things considered, £9.8 million seems like a good deal for Emre Can.