Southampton star Dusan Tadic has lauded his countryman Marko Grujic, Liverpool’s 2016 summer signing who’s barely kicked a ball for us yet.
We bought Grujic from Red Star Belgrade in January 2016, before welcoming him in during pre-season. The youngster shone and was so impressive in fact that many assumed he’d be a starter for us during this campaign, but injuries and limited opportunities mean he hasn’t played since the end of October, as we’re not counting a 30-second substitute cameo in November.
With the emergence of Gini Wijnaldum and the likelihood that we’ll strengthen in central midfield at the end of this season, Grujic’s long-term future at the club is by no means guaranteed – but Tadic has backed his friend loudly.
“Liverpool will bring good qualities into him,” he told the Daily Mail. “I believe in him. He just needs to work hard and his qualities will come out. This league is hard to adapt to. He needs the time to adapt…
“Liverpool have big plans for Marko. He is their big project, and they are very patient.”
In terms of attributes, it does look like Grujic has most of what you need to make it to the very top. He’s tall and strong, which helps, but his technique is also exceptional. At the moment he’s tactically limited, as he was given licence to do whatever he fancied in Belgrade, whereas Jurgen Klopp demands a more astute, measured, defensively aware midfielder.
Hopefully this will come with time though, as the player’s potential is huge.