Emre Can targeting role in midfield with Liverpool

Emre Can has told 11Freunde he now feels he has settled in at Liverpool and hopes to cement a place in central midfield.

Can, 21, moved to Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen last summer but barely featured in the first half of the campaign after picking up a calf injury during preseason and then hurting his ankle while representing Germany's under-21 side in September.

However, he was given a chance in defence after Christmas and soon proved his worth to manager Brendan Rodgers, making 27 Premier League appearances by the end of the season.

"At the beginning, things really did not go so smoothly," he said. "I had problems with my calf, then I got injured during an international match with the under-21s and had to wait longer.

"As a newcomer, it's normal that there's a certain period of adaptation, but I have always believed in myself and haven't regretted making the move to Liverpool for a second."

He added: "The Premier League is the best league in the world. At first that was a physical challenge to me, but after working in the gym on a regular basis, there are no players who can scare me anymore."

Can is capable of playing in a variety of roles in defence and midfield and said that, for now, he is content to operate in several positions.

"It can be a disadvantage, but it can help a young player as well," he said. "I want to play as much as possible.

"At the moment I am content, but I'll be playing my best position soon, which is central midfield. The coach knows about it and sees it the same way I do."

Can will now hope to fill the void created by Steven Gerrard's departure to LA Galaxy.

Former Germany international Steffen Freund said in an interview with Spox in March that Can could be Gerrard's successor at Anfield.

Can said he was aware of the comparisons.

He added: "I've read some of it. It would be great if I could have such a career, but I want to follow my own path."

Asked how the players learned of Gerrard's exit, he said: "I read it in the papers. He didn't give a speech to the team and honestly the team has not made a big deal of it.

"The farewell was hard enough for everybody. The whole of Liverpool will miss something without Steven Gerrard."

He added: "It is funny, my whole childhood I've been following Steven Gerrard's career at Liverpool and then such a legend is standing next to you and talks to you like a normal person. He is a real quiet, down-to-earth guy and a role model for all of us."