Brendan Rodgers caught a fair amount of flak for some of his more outspoken statements during his tenure at Liverpool. However, one of his quotes from 2015 is now coming back for the right reasons following the rise and rise of midfielder Emre Can.
During Can's very first campaign with Liverpool following his £10m from Leverkusen, Brendan Rodgers remarked that the youngster (given time) could become 'world class'.
“If you give Emre another couple of years, he could play in any team in world football. That’s how highly I rate him," the now Celtic manager said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo in March 2015.
“Playing at the back he is strong, aggressive and fast. He moves the ball well and can move into midfield, and whether central or out wide you can see his intelligence."
Can, who quickly became a fan favourite for blend of style and brawn, spent his first season at Anfield filling in a number of roles that included right-back.
Liverpool Refuse Emre Can Release Clause Request as Juve Target's Contract Saga Rumbles On https://t.co/aeQjYMIbZK— 90min (@90min_Football) September 6, 2017
“Emre can break through lines with his power and pace and has great composure," Rodgers added.
“He does the dirty work as well. He doesn't just play and look nice, he presses the ball and is aggressive. I feel he will develop into a world class player.”
While Rodgers left Liverpool in 2015, Can looks set to surpass 100 Premier League appearances for the Reds and impressed in particular last season, scoring five league goals - including the club's goal of the season with a strike against Watford.
However, Liverpool fans are desperate for the midfielder to sign a new deal, with his current contract due to expire next summer. Juventus have been heavily linked with the man Rodgers predicted would eventually rise to the top, with a contract saga set to rumble on.