Liverpool midfielder Emre Can helped Germany to the final of the Confederations Cup in Russia, providing an assist in a 4-1 win over Mexico.
Joachim Low’s side had already scored victories over Australia and Cameroon, as well as drawing with Chile, to advance from Group B of the quadrennial tournament.
Having emerged as winners of their group, Germany were drawn a favourable semi-final against Mexico, who finished second in Group A.
The North American nation still boasted a strong lineup including Miguel Layun, Hector Moreno, Hector Herrera, Jonathan and Giovanni dos Santos and Javier Hernandez, however.
Taking to Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Germany were aware of the challenge at hand, but they ultimately made light work of Mexico.
Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka, an ideal alternative for Liverpool if they fail to sign Naby Keita, opened the scoring on six minutes, before adding his second just two minutes later.
Germany continued to control the game throughout, and after half-time Reds target Timo Werner made it 3-0, converting Jonas Hector’s pass.
Low replaced Goretzka with Can on 67 minutes, with Julian Brandt and Amin Younes following soon after, and all three were involved in Germany’s fourth of the night.
After Marco Fabian had grabbed an excellent consolation for Mexico, Brandt, Can and Younes combined on the edge of the penalty area, with Can providing a simple pass for Younes to cap an emphatic victory.
This win ensures Germany a place in the Confederations Cup final, meeting Chile again at St Petersburg on July 2, buoyed by their dominant run throughout the tournament so far.
Germany’s success in Russia means that Can won’t return for pre-season until at least mid-July, with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad set to begin training at Melwood on July 5.
He will only be able to call upon a small group of non-internationals, with more high-profile names returning throughout the month.
The Reds’ first clash of pre-season comes away to Tranmere Rovers on July 12, but summer signing Mohamed Salah, for example, is not expected to feature until the tour of Hong Kong, beginning July 19.
Can should join the squad after that, with his first appearance of pre-season potentially coming back in Germany, with Liverpool set for a showcase friendly against Hertha Berlin on July 29.
They then take part in the Audi Cup in Munich, facing off against Can’s former club Bayern Munich on August 1, before clashing with either Napoli or Atletico Madrid on August 2.
It is far from an ideal situation to have Can return late for the third consecutive summer, but victory in Russia could further instil a valuable winning mentality in the 23-year-old.