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Saturday 3 December 2016

Can is a firm' fan of Reds ace Roberto

Emre says Brazilian striker will adjust to rigours of Premier League after slow start

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino
Chelsea's Ramires in action with Liverpool's Emre Can

Emre Can believes Roberto Firmino will prove to be a massive hit at Liverpool - but says patience is required as the Brazilian attacker adjusts to the demands of English football.

The Reds midfielder knows all about Firmino's qualities having lined up against him during their time in the Bundesliga.

Firmino, who joined the Reds from Hoffenheim last summer in a £29million deal, has started to showcase his talent after a slow start to his Anfield career with a back injury keeping him out for a month. Germany international Can went through the same kind of difficult transitional phase after his move from Bayer Leverkusen 12 months earlier and is convinced Firmino will go from strength to strength.

"He's a great player," Can said. "He scored a lot of goals and made a lot in Germany.

"I know myself that it's difficult when you pick up an injury after arriving at a new club. It's the worst time because you're trying to make a good impression.

"It happened to me last season when I was on international duty and it took a few months to recover and get in the team. "Firmino just needs time. People need to be patient with him then he can progress. It's not easy to come into the English league, everything is quicker and more physical.

"You need to learn about that and the referees too. Sometimes they don't whistle when you expect it. Instead they let the game flow. You might think it's a foul but everything continues.

"Personally, I like that. It's much better than a stop-start game. But players who are new to England need time to adapt to it."

Meanwhile, Joe Allen is determined to prove to Jurgen Klopp that he can be part of a bright future for Liverpool.

The Wales midfielder, who missed the start of the season with a hamstring injury, has found his opportunities limited since Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers last month.

After a brief cameo against Tottenham, Allen started the Europa League clash with Rubin Kazan but was taken off at half-time.

Since then he's been an unused substitute in league games against Southampton and Chelsea but he did get 90 minutes under his belt in the League Cup win over Bournemouth. Allen is expected to start Thursday's return game against Kazan in Russia as he looks to stake a claim for a Premier League spot.

"When a manager leaves a club everything is up in the air for the players," he said.

"You have to wait to see who comes in next, what sort of style he plays and if there's a place for you in his plans.

"I'm confident that the things he's looking to bring into the team are things I pride myself on and I'm looking forward to getting down to some hard work to make sure I'm part of the new era.

"It's almost like the reset button has been pressed for everyone at the club and we've got a clean slate to re-focus and try to impress him so we can be part of his plans.

"Everyone has been impressed with the new manager's ideas and approach. His passion is very obvious and that is something we as players as going to feed off.

"There is a lot of new information for the lads to take in, a new way of playing to learn and new styles to take on board. But I think the lads already see the benefits of it and everyone is buying into what he's looking to bring to us."

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