Can lauds influence of Liverpool colleague Gerrard

The 20-year-old, who recently joined the club from Bayer Leverkusen, hailed the impact of his experienced teammate both to him and the club
Liverpool midfielder Emre Can hailed Steven Gerrard and said the captain had become like a "big brother" to him.

The German, who joined the Premier League side in July, may eventually replace 34-year-old Gerrard in central midfield for Liverpool, who are battling in 11th in the table ahead of Sunday's trip to Crystal Palace.

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But the 20-year-old believes the former England international - who retired in July - still had plenty to offer to Brendan Rodgers' side.

"Steven Gerrard doesn't play because his name is Steven Gerrard," he told reporters.

"He plays because of what he brings in terms of performances. If that wasn't the case, he wouldn't play. He is as good as he was and I have learned a lot from him.

"Steven is the greatest captain Liverpool have ever had and I feel comfortable on the pitch because I always know he is behind me.

"If I make a mistake, he is always there helping me out. He is like a big brother."

Can, who scored his first goal for the club against Chelsea in November, has began to settle in England and admits he is enjoying the physicality and pace of the Premier League.

"I have always liked English football and believed I would be suited to it. I think it is the best league in the world to watch, possibly the strongest league, too," he said.

"The conversation I had with Brendan Rodgers helped sway me, I could see he thought highly of me, but to be honest as soon as Liverpool showed interest it was a no-brainer.

"What I like about English football is that it is very quick, very physical. You hardly have time to breathe. That suits my game, and I haven't been disappointed."

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