Fresh from a maiden strike for Germany, Emre Can is eager to secure an improved goal return at club level this season, but has explained how an occasional change in responsibilities means he is equally happy to play provider for his teammates.
The German has scored 10 goals in 138 appearances for Liverpool since his move from Bayer Leverkusen in July 2014, two of which he netted against Hoffenheim at Anfield earlier this season.
Nevertheless, it’s a tally he is keen to add to – although he’s just as satisfied when laying on assists for the Reds’ forward players, as he did for Mohamed Salah’s strike against Burnley last month.
Can, who scored his maiden goal for his country with a stunning long-range drive against Azerbaijan on Sunday night, told LFC Magazine: “I turn 24 in January and I’m very proud to have already made so many appearances for Liverpool. At times this season I’ve been dropping deeper but there have still been chances for me to get forward to support the attack and even score.
“I was a little deeper in the recent home game with Burnley, a more disciplined role that means I can’t always go forward and be around the opponents’ box. Instead I help to build moves from the back, build the game with the centre-backs and have more touches. But when you’ve got players like Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in front of you, it’s great because they are quick and like to go behind the line and you can play the ball and it’s not that difficult for them.
“Mo’s always making great runs behind the last line and against Burnley I saw an opportunity to play the ball at the right time. It’s all about timing. But of course it was not easy after the pass and Mo did brilliantly to score.
“Earlier, against Hoffenheim in the Champions League I scored twice and the second was a great team goal. The ball was played deep to Firmino, who let it drop to Gini, who played a long ball to Sadio, who touched the ball twice then back-heeled to Roberto, who hit a perfect cross, and I just had to be there and score. It was a fantastic team goal and I hope we’ll see that kind of goal more often from us this season.
“Against Sevilla at Anfield it was tougher but again we played very well and scored another great goal with the equaliser. It’s different when you play against teams from other countries; some are more technical, some more physical, some tackle more – all different and all making it very exciting to watch.
“With Liverpool I think I’ve got about 10 goals in total so far. Sometimes I think I could score more. Whether it’s running with the ball and finishing or shooting from long distance, I always try to find the opportunity but it isn’t always easy.”