It is safe to say that Borussia Dortmund made one of the best deals in the winter transfer window by signing Erling Haaland. However, they had also brought in former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can in a short-term loan deal from Juventus, although they do have an option to make the move permanent in the summer.
In this article, we will discuss whether or not Can will be successful in his return to Germany.
Assuming Emre Can’s role in the Borussia Dortmund setup
Many experts have claimed that Can has been brought in as an alternative for defender Manuel Akanji. The Swiss international has appeared very inconsistent throughout the season. And with Lukasz Piszczek nearing the final phase of his career, Can’s robust style of play, coupled with his mobility, could make him an ideal defensive partner to Mats Hummels and Dan-Axel Zagadou.
In midfield, things are much more complicated. Axel Witsel is a mainstay in the double-pivot. Also, alongside him, Julian Brandt has become a revelation. The German international has operated as a central midfielder alongside Witsel, of late. Given his performances, it is safe to say that he has been one of Dortmund’s best players.
Aside from Brandt, the Black and Yellows also have Thomas Delaney and Mahmoud Dahoud, as well as Mario Gotze, who can operate in a deeper midfield role. Therefore, the centre-back slot seems like the best bet for Can to become a first-team regular for Dortmund this season.
Benefitting from injuries
While things seemed very competitive for Can, in his bid to become a key member of the Dortmund setup, the recent injury of Brandt and Marco Reus could just hand him a glorious opportunity.
Brandt has suffered an ankle injury that has ruled him out of the next game against Eintracht Frankfurt. It would make Can a guaranteed starter against the Eagles, especially with Thomas Delaney also out injured.
He will likely operate in the double-pivot alongside Witsel. And having scored a dream goal against Bayer Leverkusen, it will be interesting to see how he performs this upcoming weekend.
Can’s fate at Dortmund could depend on his performance in the coming matches. The midfielder looked slow and tentative in the build-up, in the last game. And if he fails to improve against a much more aggressive Eintracht side, coach Lucien Favre will likely hope for the return of Brandt as soon as possible.