Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has called on Reds midfielder Emre Can to be patient with the club, as the German international looks set to snub a contract extension to stay at Anfield and instead join Serie A giants Juventus.
Speaking as a pundit on BT Sport, the former England international claimed that Can owes a debt to Liverpool, as both the club and fans have offered him a great deal of support during his development in the Premier League. Gerrard stated:
"(If he joins Juventus) He’ll be a loss. He’s a good player. He’s grown, he’s maturing, he’s getting better and better.
"Liverpool have made him a better player and Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff are perfect for him. I can’t make decision for Emre Can, but in his shoes I’d be a bit more patient with Liverpool. The club and the fans have got a lot of belief in him.”
Can's contract expires at the end of the season, and the chance to join Juventus seems to have proved an alluring option for the 24-year-old. Having joined from Bayern Leverkusen in 2014, Can has slowly matured in to a top class central midfielder, giving the Reds some much-needed brute force in the heart of their side.
With RB Leipzig starlet Naby Keita joining the Reds at the end of the season, manager Jürgen Klopp will at least have the consolation of having a new prodigy to mould should Can decide to join Juventus. Keita's long-awaited £48m switch to Anfield could prove imperative to Liverpool's title chances next season, as his defensive abilities could aid the side's real weakness.
Can scored for Liverpool in their comfortable 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town - a result that saw Klopp's side move up to third in the Premier League table after Chelsea slipped up against Bournemouth. With Manchester City racing away with the title, Liverpool's aim will be to secure a top-four finish, thus qualifying for the ever-lucrative Champions League next season.