Marko Grujic enhanced his reputation at Hertha Berlin further on Friday with an impressive display in his side’s 2-2 draw with Schalke.
The Serbian midfielder finished off an excellent team goal to open the scoring in just his second game back since his second injury setback of the season.
His involvement also extended Hertha’s unbeaten record to six wins and three draws in the nine games in which Grujic has featured.
Such has been his sparkling impression in Germany that manager Pal Dardai recently labelled him a ‘top shelf’ player, as well as suggesting he carried his team.
Starting in a two-man central midfield, Grujic displayed a familiar ambition to break into the final third when possible, notably evidenced by his goal.
He also handled the responsibility of playing on the pivot well, taking the time to stretch the play by making use of runs from his wing-backs.
Grujic saw his superb start to life in the Bundesliga cut short by an ankle injury in September, which sidelined him for seven successive league games.
He then returned for three games between late November and early December, before missing a further three matches with another ankle problem.
For him to slot straight back into Hertha’s starting lineup following his return from both layoffs is testament to his value in the eyes of his coach.
The 22-year-old now promises to play a key role in his side’s hunt for a European spot.