When you google (is that an accepted adjective now?) ‘Marko Grujic’, it becomes apparent the football world has forgotten about Liverpool’s supposedly prodigal midfielder.
Barring his Wikipedia page, the first three hits on the young Serb are as follows: An article which claims he’s suffered a setback on his hamstring injury dated mid-January, quotes from Klopp early December suggesting Grujic has a tendon injury and an interview with the 20-year-old dated November 5th, in which he claims he’s learning lots at Melwood.
Barely anything is being written on the £5.1m international.
The reality is that because of an inability to shake these ambiguous injuries, Grujic hasn’t featured properly for the first-team since October, making just one appearance for the Under-23s all season as well.
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Without anyone really noticing, the summer signing has basically missed the entire campaign injured; to the point that fans and the media have forgotten he exists.
But rewind six months and many Reds were putting Grujic in their first-choice starting XIs for the upcoming campaign, following a phenomenal pre-season. The youngster looked strong, skilful and was scoring goals. We’ve checked Google again and a July article is headlined as such:
‘Marko Grujic becomes overnight sensation at Liverpool following two dazzling pre-season displays’
‘Man Mountain Grujic looks worth the wait’
Can you remember how excited we all were now?!
Since the turn of the calendar year, Liverpool have been woeful, in short – winning just once in ten matches. Fans have turned on the midfield trio, with most criticising Emre Can and demanding the German exit the starting XI. But oddly, there’s been virtually no suggestion that Grujic could eventually fill this role or questions as to when the Serb is back – so he can offer the creativity and drive to the middle of the park we’re currently lacking.
The reality, I suppose, is that he’s not interesting right now simply because he’s not available – in the same way Danny Ings isn’t being discussed in regards to our inability to break down stubborn defences.
With Liverpool out of cup competitions and having just 14 games to play this term, we’d be surprised if we actually see Grujic in a starting XI before the summer – which would sadly make his debut season a bit of a nightmare – through no fault of his own.
The problem though is that Jurgen Klopp now has another summer in the transfer market to enforce his central midfield, and before Grujic has had a chance to impress, he could be pushed further down the pecking order. The youngster claimed in 2016 that ‘next season will be the one where I show what I can do,’ but this was on the basis of an introductory campaign in 2016/17 which he’s been denied.
He’s a phenomenally talented midfielder, both technically and physically – and the fact he was the very first player Klopp permanently bought after he took the reigns shows the manager sees it too.
And perhaps the fact Grujic has fallen so far out of the limelight may be beneficial – focussing solely on getting back to peak physical condition without the pressure of a team waiting on his return…
Time will tell what happens with Grujic, but let’s not forget about him… Should he regain fitness soon – Liverpool have an enthusiastic, goalscoring midfielder who runs beyond the opposing backline. How nice would that option have been in January!?