Liverpool star Emre Can is the best performing U21 defensive midfielder in the Premier League according to CIES

Liverpool star Emre Can is the best performing defensive midfielder in the Premier League since the start of the season under the age of 21 according to the CIES Football Observatory.

Can who is 21 has found himself break out of the Brendan Rodgers three-man defence that he found himself a part of for most of last season into midfield – although he was used as a defender in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa last week.

The young defender-come-midfielder broke into the Germany national team earlier in the season despite also being eligible to represent Turkey and has consistently been a part of Rodgers Liverpool side this season.

The academic research group based at the International Centre for Sports Studies rate players based on their position compared with rigour (strength in defensive duels) recovery (Interception work) distribution, take-ons, chance creation and shooting.

The report takes into account players who have played in 60 per cent of their team’s minutes and statistics applicable for their position.

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