Kamil Grabara could be set for a second loan of 2019 and a much bigger test of his future credentials as a Liverpool goalkeeper.
The Polish stopper has enjoyed a very productive past 12 months, stepping up in prominence after the Reds’ upheaval in the position of a year ago.
A big summer of change between the sticks saw Simon Mignolet prepare to leave, eventually stay, Loris Karius depart instead on a two-year loan and Alisson Becker arrive from Roma as the new first choice, while Danny Ward also departed.
He even made the bench for a senior competitive match, the League Cup loss to Chelsea, before taking a big step forward with a loan spell to Danish side AGF—where he impressed with six clean sheets in 16 appearances.
The new 2019/20 season is likely to see Grabara head out on loan once more, and German media outlet TVP are reporting interest in him from Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.
A move to a German side with aspirations of pushing for the top half would be a massive step-up for Grabara, but it is indicative of the high regard in which he is held.
Still only 20 years of age, he is a hugely self-confident goalkeeper and an impressive performer, even bouncing back from early errors at AGF to play an important part in their play-off push.
Going from the Danish top flight, however, to facing the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus and Timo Werner would be a big test for him and would go some distance to showing just how far he might go.
Grabara has already faced a few higher-calibre players this summer, however, at the U21 European Championships, where he is Poland’s first choice.
A good start and a Man of the Match performance in the group stage ultimately still resulted in an early exit after a hammering by Spain, but Grabara’s stock undoubtedly rose.
The midfielder impressed enormously despite a few injuries, being hailed as one of the team’s best players in recent memory and a driving force behind their best runs of form.
His market value and interest in his signature has also seemingly increased exponentially as a result of that year away.
If a loan to the Olympiastadion can have a similar impact on Grabara’s fortunes, it would be a huge win all around—and may also hint at another of this season’s decisions from the club.
News has grown in recent weeks that Mignolet, formerly thought to be a want-away player for this summer as a result of a lack of action, might indeed linger another year.
If Grabara goes out and impressed in a top-five European league and returns to Liverpool as a 21-year-old with over 50 first-team games under his belt, it may well be that they hope he can progress to become Alisson‘s cover for 2020/21 or beyond, negating the need to buy another back-up at all.