Emre Can has spoken of his desire to emulate the last man to wear the number 23 shirt for Liverpool – Jamie Carragher – and become a Liverpool great.
The 20-year-old midfielder has made two appearances for the Reds this season, both as substitutes away to Manchester City and Tottenham. And the £10million signing from Bayern Leverkusen could be set for his first competitive appearance at Anfield against Aston Villa on Saturday, and Can admits he cannot wait for the experience.
“The atmosphere at Anfield is exceptional,” Can said.
“Many people around the world know that the stadium has a great atmosphere, and I had heard a lot about it before coming here.
“But the first time you run out at Anfield and experience it, the hair stands up on your neck. It wasn’t my best match, the first one, but there are great matches to come for me.
“You can already see the kind of quality that is in this team. A 4-0 victory like that (over Dortmund) was a good example of what we can achieve.
“There are differences between stadiums in Germany – some are that bit smaller and have less of a buzz among the fans, some of them are a lot bigger and have an incredible atmosphere.
“But Anfield is something else. The fans jump up and down, they cheer throughout. The way they sing, the scarves, it’s the goose bumps again.”
Can has set expectations high by admitting he would love to emulate some of the success Jamie Carragher had during his time at Liverpool, and is working hard to settle and learn English in order to help himself both on and off the pitch.
“Jamie Carragher is a big-name player,” Can said.
“He wore No.23 and was a legend playing here.
“I want to become a great Liverpool player too and maybe the No.23 can help with that.”
“Every day together with the team I learn more English,” he continued.
“I want to learn perfect English as soon as possible so I have no problems on the pitch or life in general. “The same applies off the pitch; for example, if you go to a bakery to buy bread, you learn something else again. You’re always learning. “All of the players have taken me on board and they’ve taken the time to get to know me – that has been really helpful. The coach talks to me a lot and tells me how I can improve. “It’s very important that he seeks out contact with the players. “As everyone else has told me, he explained that English football is played at a high tempo and I’ll have to become accustomed to that. But I will and I will get better through that dialogue.”