Emre Can
Emre Can impressed in defence for Liverpool but could move into midfield next seasonGetty Images

Liverpool's Emre Can is hoping to take a step towards becoming the long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard by taking up a permanent role in midfield from next season.

Can enjoyed an impressive first season at Anfield after joining from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported £9.8m ($15m) but spent much of his maiden campaign as part of a Reds back three as manager Brendan Rodgers tinkered with tactics midway through the term.

Despite being played out of position, Can thrived on the right alongside Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren and helped Liverpool recover from a difficult start to qualify for the Europa League.

With Gerrard having left for Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy after 17 seasons with Liverpool, Can is expected to be moved into a central role from next term and the Germany Under-21 international is grateful for the chance to play in his first-choice position.

"[Brendan] talks all the time with me," Can told The Anfield Wrap podcast. "He sees me as a midfield player and I hope next year to be playing in midfield.

"Of course he talks with me every day and says what I can do better. He helps my game. He wants to play football and that's what I want. That's why I came to Liverpool."

With the likes of Gerrard and Glen Johnson both leaving Liverpool this summer, the off-season threatens to be one of much change around Merseyside, coupled with the intense speculation regarding Raheem Sterling's future.

And following his recall from a loan spell at Derby County and a flurry of impressive performances for the first team, Jordon Ibe is in line to be a permanent member of the Liverpool first-team squad from next term.

The 19-year-old made 12 Premier League appearances last season, with all but one coming after his spell at Pride Park, and Rodgers says Ibe's improvement is down to his time away from the club.

"He just needed experience," he told the club's official website. "For young players, people forget that when you're playing in youth football and reserve football, you're playing in front of not so many people.

"So to have to feel the pressure of going out to perform for a group of fans, we felt that was something he needed. But it was important for him not just to go to any club, he needed to go to the right club.

"When he went to Derby with Steve McClaren, they played a great level of football. Steve is a very experienced manager who has worked at all levels.

"He developed very, very well there. He certainly came back a young man and now the opportunity and responsibility is there for him to make the next step and become a regular."