Emre Can – Time to Step Up into the Nationalmannschaft

When Joachim Löw named his first national team squad of the new season, there was just one new name on the list of 23 players to face Poland (September 4) and Scotland September 7 in Glasgow) in the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers- Liverpool’s Emre Can.

The 21-year old has 13 U-21 caps having previously represented the Nationalmannschaft at all levels from U-15 upwards, so his call-up seemed only a matter of time, especially when you take into account his form last season in the Premier League. What makes the call-up all the more special, is that the Poland games takes place in his hometown of Frankfurt.

So is Emre Can ready to break through into Jogi Löw’s national team plans?

“He’s an interesting player who has come along well and who can be used in many different positions” was the curt comment made by the Bundestrainer after naming his squad. That is the very reason that Can could have a very important role to play in the near future for Germany.

Having won the World Cup in Brazil, Löw knows that stagnation is the enemy at the gate for Germany. Tinkering with a few new formations could freshen things up and a player of Can’s versatility will be much in demand. At Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich he was predominantly a central midfielder, but during his time with Liverpool has shown that he really can do a job as part of a three-man back line.

The retirement of Philipp Lahm has removed from selection a world-class player, who can fill in various roles in both defence and midfield, and looking towards Euro 2016 and beyond, Can should be hopeful of cementing his place.

His impact at Liverpool was so great last season that he was being touted as a possible successor to the great Steven Gerrard as the Reds’ captain. That role ultimately went to Jordan Henderson, but the German’s stock is certainly on the rise in the Premier League.

There were some highly impressive displays in the ‘big games’ last season, particularly against eventual champions Chelsea, where he scored and managed to get under the skin of Diego Costa due his mastery of the Brazilian forward.

Back in 2011 when Can captained the German U17 squad at the World Cup coach Stefan Freund said, “Emre Can is the most complete player I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot”. High praise indeed, but the time is right for expectation to be converted into concrete achievement.

Germany are currently second in group D with 13 points from six games.

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.