Can Can Do What Lucas Can?

Liverpool are currently heavily linked with a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s twenty year old German midfielder Emre Can. A quick glance at his stats on WhoScored revealed a very similar level of output to Lucas Leiva, and as the Brazilian is currently the Reds’ last choice midfielder, it seems logical to me that Can may be his replacement. I have therefore taken a closer look at the figures to see how they compare.

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Lucas Leiva: Top Tackler

I saw an interesting tweet from WhoScored in relation to Joe Allen of Swansea City, who is a transfer target of Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool:

Joe Allen: Only Yohan Cabaye (117) and Moussa Dembele (112) made more tackles in the Premier League this season than Allen (110)

That’s certainly impressive, not least for a young player from the previous season’s play-off winners. But the above numbers got me wondering about how Lucas Leiva compares, in his role as the defensive lynchpin of the Reds midfield.

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The Challenge Facing Jay Spearing

Following the sad news that Lucas Leiva will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury in Liverpool’s recent Carling Cup quarter-final victory at Chelsea, Kenny Dalglish faces an enormous dilemma: just who can fill the current player-of-the-year’s boots?

Perhaps a replacement will be drafted in during the forthcoming transfer window, but before that can happen the Reds have six league games to negotiate in December, and that’s before you consider a triple-header with Manchester City in January.

Whilst some might opt for Jordan Henderson as the temporary replacement for Lucas, my money would be on Jay Spearing. I’ll be honest and admit I was never that convinced by the young scouser during his early appearances for the team, though he changed my mind on that front over the closing months of last season. But how do his stats from last season compare to Lucas’ for this campaign?

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