Everton have become the latest club to be linked with a January move for Juventus midfielder Emre Can.
The Toffees are firmly in mid-table so far this season and new manager Carlo Ancelotti is trying desperately to turn the club’s fortunes around.
But if he were to succeed in bringing Can to Goodison Park then the former Liverpool player would surely incur the wrath of the red half of Merseyside, having previously stated he would not play for Manchester United out of respect for his former club.
Emre Can’s next club: Five things to know…
- Can played 166 games for Liverpool between 2014 and 2018 before running down his contract and joining Juventus on a free contract.
- Can has struggled for minutes under Maurizio Sarri this season. The German has played just 280 minutes across 8 games this season, less than every senior squad member (bar Daniele Rugani) that hasn’t also suffered a serious injury.
- Everton are prepared to offer a sizeable £30m fee to bring Can back to the Premier League, according to the Mirror.
- Inter Milan have also been linked, but Antonio Conte’s side have reportedly been put off by Can’s wages.
- AC Milan are favourites to sign Can at 11/4* and Everton are now 4/1* to secure the 26-year-old’s signature this month.
Everton seem to be safe right now, sitting in 11th place in the Premier League table. But then you look at their goal-difference of -7, and you look around them and realise that they are just seven points ahead of the relegation zone.
The Toffees need to start picking up positive results to avoid getting sucked down into a dogfight for survival. Adding a proven Premier League player like Can would provide a significant boost to their midfield options, but the Germany international is expected to have several options if his time in Turin comes to an end and he is no longer part of the Serie A champions’ plan.
Where would Can fit in at Everton?
This summer Everton sold Idrissa Gueye, who was their defensive midfield lynchpin. They also lost André Gomes to a long-term injury. This has left them seriously light in the middle of the park which in turn disrupts how effective their attacking players can be. It’s no coincidence that Gylfi Sigurdsson is having a poor season, the platform that allowed him to play well last season is no longer there.
Can, however, would be able to help restore that platform. The German is no Gueye, very few players are, but Can is still a ferocious defensive player.
He has excellent passing ability and he also has the tactical intelligence to play multiple roles. But it’s clear that the Toffees would likely deploy him a the base of midfield, and there he would be tremendously effective.
Since the start of the 2016/17 season, of all players who have managed at least 1,000 Premier League minutes, only Lucas Leiva has made more tackles per-90 (3.01). Can has made 2.68 tackles per-90, an incredible number given that he didn’t get to play for the Reds when they were as phenomenally dominant as they are now.
But that just goes to show how reliable he is in that spot, and how he would be able to bring the kind of defensive pressure that will allow Everton’s attackers to flourish.