Very few players have succeeded and improved their games since moving away from Liverpool in recent years.
Since Jurgen Klopp joined the Reds only Luis Alberto has really put themselves on the map after leaving. He has become a creative force for Lazio, providing 30 assists in the last two-and-a-half seasons in Serie A.
Plenty of others, though, have seen their careers regress – Philippe Coutinho, for example, is now on loan at Bayern Munich after appearing to fail to make the grade at Barcelona, whilst Christian Benteke has just 21 goals in 106 games for Crystal Palace since leaving Anfield, and has yet to hit the target this term.
Another player who has not pushed on since leaving the Reds is Emre Can. Like Alberto, he has also moved to Serie A, with him signing for Juventus on a free transfer in July of 2018. Since then, though, he has failed to become an important member of the Old Lady’s starting XI, both under Massimiliano Allegri and new boss Maurizio Sarri. He has started just 25 matches in all competitions, managing just four goals and one assist.
If you compare his last season with Liverpool and his first season with Juve, it is clear to see how much his game regressed. In the Premier League in 2017/18, he managed 2.6 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and one foul per match. Last term in the Italian top flight, all posted numbers in all three areas that were considerably worse. Going forward, the numbers were similar, but he managed just 0.7 key passes per match last term compared to one in that last season at Anfield.
Now, he is being linked with a return to the Premier League. Tottenham are the latest team to be interested in him – Everton and Manchester United have also been linked – and it is being reported they will offer €30m (£25.3m) for his services. That would represent a step down – Spurs are currently sixth and fighting for a spot in the top four, whilst Juve are top of their division, and it would highlight just what he has left at Liverpool. The Reds are top of the Premier League by 16 points and are the European champions – Can would surely love to be a part of that.
His rumoured return to these shores indicates one thing – the grass isn’t always greener.