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Marko Grujic: Liverpool’s Midfielder In The Wings

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It hasn’t been the success story that the young Serbian midfielder would have hoped for at Liverpool. But Jürgen Klopp is showing faith in Grujic.

Leicester City v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Third Round
He’s also a funny face guy. Win.
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

We haven’t seen much of Marko Grujic since his 2016 arrival in Liverpool. There was an injury in there that curbed any momentum he was able to build up during his limited time in the first team early last season. But in the time between now and last spring the young Serbian midfielder hasn’t been given much of go by Jürgen Klopp. And it’s tough to remember that Grujic was at all a Klopp target, scouted, courted and convinced by the manager and his assistant, Zeljko Buvac.

So, it’s surprising and not surprising that we’re beginning to see more of the young fellow in a Liverpool shirt this season. He had some memorable moments during preseason to which we made optimistic faces over but the regular but-it’s-preseason explications apply. Grujic is young and largely untested at the Premier League level. He will fail from time to time. Just as Ben Woodburn will and Trent Alexander-Arnold, etc. But Klopp sees something in Grujic that he likes and wants to develop. I can dig that.

And while he didn’t set the stadium afire against Leicester City and was culpable on too many occasions of conceding possession, Grujic looked assured on the ball plenty of times and has the look of a player who prides himself on his composure. I’m not saying that I can see it-see it. But I can see it.

“We played very well first half,” said Grujic, ruminating on the League Cup defeat, “created a lot of chances, but we didn’t score, unluckily for us.

“We kept trying to do the same in the second half but, again, set-pieces. A throw-in. We weren’t in a good position and Leicester scored a really nice goal.”

Chances are slim for Marko finding himself in the starting eleven for Liverpool’s next trip to Leicester City this weekend. Gini Wijnaldum and Emre Can should pop right back into the side. But I expect he’ll have gained an ounce or two of know-how in his first start of the season, some know-how he’ll need if he’s going to bump either of those boys out of their spots.

“We have to not let our heads drop and focus on Saturday,” said Grujic. “The same pitch, the same opponent. We have to concentrate on the Premier League and the other cups.

“If we play again the same way as in the first half today and be more concentrated and score some chances, we will win on Saturday.

“It’s a good thing for us, we create a lot. But we need to concentrate and score.”

Scoring is important. But also passing, Marko. We need to complete passes. And complete them regularly. As many as you can, really. Pass it down.