BURY, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 14, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Kamil Grabara during a preseason friendly match between Bury FC and Liverpool FC at Gigg Lane. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Kamil Grabara could face significant step up as reward for year of impressive progress

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.

That meant Grabara, along with Irish youth international Caoimhin Kelleher, got the chance to push a claim to be the new No. 3 for Jurgen Klopp‘s team, with both youngsters featuring in pre-season.

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.

NAPLES, ITALY - Tuesday, October 2, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Kamil Grabara during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between S.S.C. Napoli and Liverpool FC at Stadio San Paolo. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

Liverpool and Hertha have a “good relationship”, says Goal’s Bundesliga journalist Ronan Murphy, after the successful loan of Marko Grujic to the same club last year.

Marko GRUJIC (B), jubilation, cheer, joy, victory, happy, success, football 1st Bundesliga, 14th matchday, Hertha BSC Berlin (B) - Eintracht Frankfurt (F) 1: 0, on 08.12.2018 in Berlin / Germany. ¨ | usage worldwide

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.