Serbia talent Marko Grujic might indeed be wondering what he has to do to get a chance at Liverpool and, in our minds, this simply shouldn’t be the case.
If there’s one area of the pitch that Liverpool could do with improving, then it’s their midfield. That’s not to say the players who occupy that region haven’t performed well this season; winning the Champions League and narrowly missing out on the Premier League title implies the opposite, in fact.
There’s no denying that stalwart midfielders Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho have all been important for the Reds this season. However, with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain only just returning from a major injury, Adam Lallana largely playing a bit-part role and Naby Keita failing to reach the heights expected of him, some changes might need to be made.
Former captain Graeme Souness bemoaned (on Sky, via the Sun) the lack of passing options in the midfield back in March, so there is an argument for a slight refresh in the engine room. With that in mind, as far as we’re concerned, Marko Grujic is primed and ready for a squad role, at the very least.
While statistics don’t always tell the full story, they go some way towards demonstrating Grujic’s ability. According to analysts WhoScored, in the 22 appearances the midfielder made this season, he produced five goals and one assist, and an average of 2.1 shots per game, 0.7 key passes, 1.4 dribbles as well as 2 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.3 clearances.
Compare these figures to Fabinho’s in the season before he was bought for £39million from Monaco and they stand up pretty well (the Brazilian produced seven goals and three assists, and an average of 0.7 shots per game, 1.1 key passes, 1.1 dribbles as well as 3.4 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 1.7 clearances). What’s not to like about that?
The 23-year-old hasn’t enjoyed many first-team opportunities since joining Anfield in 2016. In 2018 he was shipped out on loan to Championship side Cardiff City for half a season, where he helped the club secure promotion to the Premier League, and during the recently completed 2018-19 campaign he turned out for German side Hertha Berlin, where he played a key part in helping the club finish 10th.
Described by Berlin coach Pal Dardai as the best midfielder the club has had at their disposal in 20 years (via Bundesliga.com), perhaps Grujic has proved he’s worth a shot amid links with a big money move to Atletico Madrid.
Performing well during Liverpool’s pre-season is essential if Grujic wants to leave himself in good stead for next season.
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