Liverpool have struggled to replace Steven Gerrard ever since the Reds legend upped sticks and headed for Los Angeles last year.
As loveable as Joe Allen is, he wasn’t quite up to the job, but another midfielder is eyeing the Gerrard role after settling into the Liverpool team in his second season at Anfield.
Emre Can is that man, and after getting a regular run in his favoured defensive midfield role under Jurgen Klopp, the German has high hopes for becoming a future Liverpool leader.
Speaking about the Gerrard role, Can said:
The new midfield leader can be me, of course.
I have played a lot of games for Liverpool and know I am still young but I have to show it on the pitch now.
I can say I am a leader but you have to show it. Of course we have other leaders like Hendo or Milner.
We all want to do it – I am like that. I want to be the one pushing the team on.
Can found his feet in the second half of last season, after being utilised at right back, centre back and a variety of midfield roles under Brendan Rodgers after joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014.
His form got him into the Germany Euro 2016 team, and he played in Die Mannschaft’s semi final defeat to France last month.
And he should find himself as a permanent fixture under Klopp this season, with long serving midfielder Lucas Leiva set to depart, leaving a holding midfield role wide open.
But it’s not just a starting place the 22-year-old has his eye on:
My confidence is high.
We have a very good team and we will see next season what it is but that target has to be to win titles.
If you play for Liverpool the target always has to be winning titles and it will be the same next season.
The closest Liverpool have came to winning the title was in 2013/14, when the combination of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez came within a whisker to bringing the Reds their first ever Premier League crown.
And Can is a fan of the Liverpool legend, although is keen to carve out his own legendary status rather than be compared to the Englishman.
I say I have lot of respect for him and I am far off that level he played for Liverpool.
I have to go my own way, be Emre Can. But I have great respect for him and still keep in touch.
I met him in Los Angeles recently, and we still speak.
Klopp’s Liverpool should be an interesting entity this season, as the German boss makes his mark on his new team in his first full season.
Can is ready to thrive in the midfield though, and the Anfield faithful will be hoping he can go on to become even half as much of a legend as Stevie G was.