By support

18th Apr, 2017 | 1:24pm

'He is the link man': Can delivers verdict on Liverpool 26-year-old

By Matt Farr

Emre Can has warned opponents not to underestimate the quality of Liverpool team-mate Georginio Wjinaldum.

The midfield duo have been entrusted with key roles in Liverpool’s first team in recent weeks, amid the continued absence of the injured Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana.

But both have risen to the challenge, having earlier struggled to win over the Anfield faithful during the first half of the campaign.

Wijnaldum in particular, had struggled to live up to expectations following his big-money £23million move from Newcastle last summer, but he has finally been showing off his class and ability since the new year.

The 26-year-old Holland international has contributed five goals and eight assists from 37 appearances in all competitions this season, of which just two goals and two assists came in the first half of the Premier League season.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, Can revealed that Liverpool’s ‘link-man’ must not be underestimated.

He said: “He’s a very, very important player for us, because he is the link man.

“He is doing it very well. He’s strong as well, a very strong guy. He can play, he is a very good footballer, but defensively he is working very well [too].

“He has done brilliantly for us so far this season. He has played very well. He is not ‘eye catching’ sometimes but he is doing the dirty work for us. He is a very important player.”

Wijnaldum was utilised in a number of different midfield roles for Newcastle last season, including as a left-winger, but he has thrived in his fixed central midfield role under Jurgen Klopp.

He has played in the position in all but one of his 31 Premier League appearances this term, where he played for 14 minutes as an attacking midfielder in a 4-2 win over Crystal Palace in October.

In other Liverpool news, John Aldridge has urged this Liverpool first team to show more nous

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