Marko Grujic joined Liverpool from Red Star Belgrade with high expectations in 2016, but so far his career at Anfield hasn’t exactly gone to plan.
Indeed, the 22-year-old has struggled to break into Liverpool’s first-team amid heavy competition for a starting berth from an array of talented midfielders. Grujic took the decision to embark on a short-term loan deal at Cardiff City last season and he impressed in the Championship with his ball-playing ability and commanding physical presence.
However, the Serbia international has decided to accept a new challenge away from English football by agreeing to a season-long loan deal with Hertha Berlin. According to Liverpool’s official club website, Grujic has signed a new deal with Liverpool and will now move on loan to Hertha, subject to international clearance.
In response to reports, our very own Ally Darlow delved into Twitter to assess the reaction from Liverpool supporters which was characterised by huge optimism for his future both at Hertha Berlin and at Liverpool.
Although the loyal attitude of the supporters is certainly admirable, it’s one which is slightly misplaced considering the breadth of options Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal. The Reds were already stacked with quality in central midfield prior to the new season, but the arrival of Naby Keita has added yet another layer which will intensify Grujic’s struggle to break into the first-team.
Sure, Liverpool lost Emre Can to Juventus in the summer, but Fabinho’s sudden arrival from Monaco has ensured that they have a midfield anchor to protect the back-four, so it’s difficult to see where Grujic will fit into the system. With the aforementioned pairing of Keita and Fabinho and the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all residing within Liverpool’s senior squad, Grujic’s future would best be served away from the club.
Some supporters may point to the fact that Grujic has signed a new deal as an indicator which suggests he has a future role to play, but in the current market new contracts are regularly used as tools to artificially drive up the transfer value of players, so his decision to pen a new deal must be taken with a pinch of salt.
Naturally, a glowing season in Germany could change Klopp’s attitude towards Grujic and give the midfielder a genuine chance of succeeding at Liverpool upon his return, but at this moment in time there’s no doubt that Grujic is nothing more than surplus to requirements at Anfield.
Liverpool fans – thoughts? Let us know below!