Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained that Emre Can’s recent poor form is down to a calf injury.
Can has made 25 appearances so far this season, but his recent performances have come in for criticism.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s game with Hull on Saturday, Klopp has defended the midfielder.
“Emre has for the first time had no problems with his calves,” said the German boss.
“We need him. In different parts of the game he is really consistent for us, and Chelsea was his best game for a few weeks, that is for sure.
“He has this calf issue which we are still looking into and trying to find out why. Is it his back? Is it his ankle?
“It lets him stay on the pitch but it makes him struggle a little bit. We could have said ‘stay off for two or three weeks’, but we don’t have a lot of options.
“We’ve tried to work on this while he is playing. It would be nice if we have now found the exact reason and the solution. Everyone could see the difference when he’s able to play without issues.”
When asked whether Can remains a part of Liverpool’s long-term plans, Klopp replied: “I speak to the players, not the press.”
He added: “If I say yes it puts pressure on the club to do it immediately. If I say no the player thinks I do not want him any more.
“Emre knows exactly what we want. That’s the only thing that matters.”