Liverpool’s January signing Marko Grujic has revealed the phone call from Jurgen Klopp which persuaded him that he wanted to make the switch to Merseyside.
We confirmed a deal for the Red Star Belgrade teenager at the start of last month’s transfer window, but Grujic is staying with his parent club until the summer – when he’ll eventually join up with his new team-mates on Merseyside.
According to the young Serb, Klopp’s personal intervention convinced him that Liverpool was the club for him – even more so than if Barcelona or Real Madrid had been interested!
(Let’s hope that proves to be the case in three or four years’ time!)
“Everything started with the now famous phone call from Klopp,” Grujic told Serbian publication Blic, translated by the Echo.
“No-one told me that he was going to call. I was just sitting around when my phone started ringing and I saw a number on the screen starting with +44… England!”
“When I answered I immediately recognised that German accent and that voice.
“He did most of the talking and told me about the plans that he had for me.
“His vision is that I should be something between a No 6 and a No 10. What they call a box-to-box midfielder.
“My only request was that I didn’t want to be loaned out, I just want to play for Liverpool. He was very open, told me about how he sees my development.
“When a coach like that calls you on the phone personally, that’s the greatest privilege. That call really cemented my desire to join Liverpool.
“He is famous as someone who likes to work with young players. He has made Subotic, Lewandowski, Kagawa.”
These quotes from Grujic are excellent, and show a youngster with a real desire to prove himself at Liverpool. It’s also good that he specifically requested not to be sent on loan once he arrives at Melwood – and it’s clear Klopp agreed else the starlet wouldn’t have signed.
Grujic is tremendously talented and has been one of the Serbian league’s best players this year for the runaway leaders. Of course, the Premier League will be an enormous step-up, but if he can beef up and work hard, he already has the physical and technical attributes to make a name for himself.