This is perhaps the biggest praise we’ve ever seen dished out for a Liverpool loanee…
Hertha Berlin manager Pal Dardai thinks Marko Grujic is truly exceptional.
The Serb is on loan in Germany this term, and although he’s struggled with injuries, has impressed Dardai to the point the boss doesn’t think he’s ever seen a midfielder of his level at the club.
“This is the first time in my life when I didn’t have to settle with the middle shelf of the supermarket, instead I was able reach the top shelf,” Dardai told Hungarian outlet Index.
“This is the first time I have a player like him, unfortunately only on loan from Liverpool.
“Before the Bundesliga game we had an exhibition match between Hertha ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. Grujic was on the ‘B’ team, and they won 1-0.
“But it doesn’t matter what I think of him, the numbers talk for themselves.
“When he started and played a lot we had a 2.4 point average. He has the whole team on his shoulders.
“With this point average we would contend in the Champions League. Top three teams in the Bundesliga have a point average like this.
“If he doesn’t do anything, he still makes all the others calm with his presence. You know, he provides stability.
“Without him, we have a 0.7 point average. We would be relegated with this kind of performance.
“When he did not play, it affected all the others. We missed him in the middle of the park. We can have a good spring if he’s healthy.”
Grujic has started just seven Bundesliga games this term, coming off the bench on one other occasion and racking up under 600 minutes of first-team football in total – so for Dardai to speak in such terms is pretty eye-opening.
When the midfielder first arrived at Anfield we were incredibly excited about him; largely because he tore it up during his first pre-season – but it’s never really happened for him under Jurgen Klopp.
Multiple injuries affected his chances of getting in our match-day squad, with the manager preferring his trusted lieutenants Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum for the most part over the last few seasons.
But Grujic’s talent is clearly pretty high. We just hope he stays in the Hertha team, remains healthy and we can re-evaluate the situation come the end of this campaign.
In all honesty, we’d largely forgotten about Grujic as a long-term option, but we’d love him to prove us wrong and Dardai right!