Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic “better every time he plays”, enthuses U23 coach

10 May 2017

Liverpool U23s coach Mike Garrity has lavished praise on Marko Grujic, following the Serbian’s strong performances for the young Reds.


Grujic has suffered a series of setbacks this season, with a hamstring injury holding him back from progressing in Jurgen Klopp‘s first team, playing just 217 minutes so far.

The 21-year-old has largely featured for the Reds’ U23s instead, and he helped round of their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Everton on Monday night.

Imperious throughout, Grujic laid on Liverpool’s second goal of the night, driving at the Toffees’ defence before playing a perfect delayed pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold to power home.

And watching on, Garrity was impressed with Grujic’s display, and the improvements he has made throughout the season.

“The more minutes you can get, the more games you play, the stronger you’re going to get,” he explained.

“Marko’s played the last few weeks and he looks a bit better every time he plays. I’m sure he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

“He’s a lovely technician, he angles the ball really well, he’s got a lovely profile and he’s got a nice eye for a pass which we saw for our second goal.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 7, 2017: Liverpool's Marko Grujic sees his header miss against Southampton during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Grujic is becoming a regular fixture in Klopp’s matchday squad as the season nears its conclusion, making the substitutes’ bench in the last seven games.

Klopp sent the young Serb on in the closing stages of both the 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace and Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Southampton, utilising Grujic to make a late impact.

He almost sealed the winner against the Saints, with his angled header tipped over the bar by a sprawling Fraser Forster, and this could have changed the complexion of Liverpool’s run-in.

Gaining confidence with the U23s, Grujic should take up a first-team role next season, after a year of adjustment on Merseyside.

He has bedded in well with the squad, and is clearly regarded fondly by Klopp, with his powerful, technical quality and eye for goal all key attributes in the Reds’ midfield.

While Liverpool are targeting RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita and Arsenal‘s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for midfield roles this summer, Grujic’s progress can help bolster Klopp’s ranks.

And as Garrity attests, after a stunted first six months, Grujic will only continue to get better with more game time.

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