New boy Marko Grujic has secured his work permit today and it has been confirmed he will take up the number 16 shirt when he joins the lads at Melwood. However, according to the Liverpool Echo, that he would join them for training wasn't necessarily a sure thing, and manager Jurgen Klopp went as far as to make a personal appearance at the young midfielder's hearing this week to plead his case.
The whole affair took place early yesterday at a hotel in Manchester, where one can imagine Klopp’s appeal, all gritted teeth and effortless charisma, was key to swaying the review panel. Though perhaps it was more based on numbers and potential. Still, that he would make an appearance at Grujic's hearing serves as further proof of how highly the German rates the former Belgrade star, who he sees operating in a dynamic box-to-box role at Liverpool.
Although Klopp’s first recruit as Liverpool manager may now be itching to dive straight into those 7a.m. three-a-days with the squad, for some reason the rules dictate that he has to first leave the country and re-enter on his new visa. You know, because bureaucracy. Consequently, we likely will not be seeing him in action this Friday at Tranmere Rovers.
When he does eventually join up, the £5.1-million signing will follow in the footsteps of former Liverpool players running the spectrum from Didi Hamann to the underwhelming Sean Dundee as wearers of the number 16. However, with a deserved reputation forged at Dortmund for unearthing hidden diamonds in the vein of Shinji Kagawa, Robert Lewandowski, and (ugh) Mario Gotze, the young Serbian has a bright future at Anfield.