Jurgen Klopp comes as a three – with his trusted lieutenants Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz – so when one of our manager’s assistants talk, Liverpool fans should listen.
Krawietz has taken time to discuss Liverpool’s hopes for Marko Grujic, the Serb we acquired from Red Star Belgrade back in January. The 20-year-old only joined up with his new team-mates this summer though and impressed mightily on his friendly debut against Fleetwood earlier this week – scoring the opening goal of our 5-0 rout.
“We are very, very optimistic. Not only since Wednesday, because we knew him before of course,” Krawietz told the Echo.
“He has had a good start and this is the point from where we can start to work with him and develop improvement with him.
“He has the possibility to play in different positions in midfield. He is a young player; he still has to adapt to the Premier League and our style of play.
“We know you need strong players and tall players – a mixture for Premier League football. He has every possibility to adapt quickly.”
It’s interesting for us that Krawietz directly refers to Grujic’s height and power, something our midfield lacked in 2015/16.
The young Serb stands at nearly 6 ft. 3″ and at 20, will only bulk up. Against Fleetwood, opponents bounced off him, but the tenacity and physicality of the Premier League will demand greater strength and endurance.
With Emre Can seemingly the first-choice midfielder in Klopp’s double-pivot, it’ll be interesting to see whether Grujic can force his way into first-team selection ahead of our experienced Englishmen Jordan Henderson and James Milner…
Both are internationals with strengths and work-rate, but we finished eighth last term and it could be time for a talent such as Grujic to take a spot for himself.