After spending nearly £120 million in the summer transfer window, Brendan Rodgers signings are starting to perform. Many people questioned the signings of youngsters Emre Can and Lazar Marković for a combined £29.8 million, but after settling into their new club, both players have found form and have been rewarded with consecutive starts against Sunderland and Aston Villa.
Signed as a central midfielder from Bayer Leverkusen, Emre Can has been playing in the defensive third as one of three central defenders alongside Martin Škrtel and Mamadou Sakho.
The German has also kept out Croatian signing Dejan Lovren from the starting XI, who is a natural central defender. Can has flourished in Rodgers new 3-4-3 system, being the ball player and play maker from the back. After the Aston Villa game, Brendan Rodgers praised the 21 year old German, saying :
“Look at Emre Can today, what a wonderful player he is. He’s a central midfield player but his composure, calmness and strength a number of time against Benteke was impressive.”
After struggling with injuries and fitness early in the season, Can is now a certainty in the Liverpool XI and may even be the replacement for Steven Gerrard at the end of this season.
Another summer signing that is starting to fire for Liverpool is Lazar Marković. After taking a long time to settle at his new club, the 20 year old Serbian has found form after an unconvincing start to life at Liverpool. Marković first made the headlines for his enormous price tag of £20 million.
He also look impressive coming of the bench against Basel in the Champions League at Anfield, and could have been the difference had he not been sent off for lashing out. Since the Basel game Marković has settled at Liverpool and is also flourishing in Rodgers 3-4-3 system, either playing as a wing-back or as one of the front three.
The Serbian’s best performance came away at Sunderland where Marković grabbed an early winner, his first Premier League goal, and also struck the crossbar with an outstanding volley. Marković will face tough competition with Daniel Sturridge nearing full fitness and also the recalled Jordan Ibe, but with Marković’s current form the returning players may find it difficult to take his place in the starting XI.
Both Lazar Marković and Emre Can have started to prove their quality and justify their price tags after slow starts at Liverpool. With both players finding form and Liverpool starting to perform as a club, Marković and Can may have a big say in where Liverpool finish this season.