Marko Grujic has attested to the “great honour” of representing Liverpool over the past five-and-a-half years, but “did everything” to ensure a move to Porto this summer.
The Serbian was one of two players to depart the club on Tuesday, joining Porto in a £10.5 million deal that the Portuguese side insists is a loan with an obligation to buy.
His switch to the Estadio do Dragao comes after a productive loan spell in 2020/21, and he is now poised to build on this as a first-choice starter under Sergio Conceicao.
Grujic only played 16 times for Liverpool following his £5.1 million move from Red Star Belgrade in 2016, and is now looking to settle at a new club in Porto.
“I’m really happy,” he told the Primeira Liga club’s official website.
“I did everything I could to return to FC Porto and I am very happy that this day has arrived.
“The clubs reached an agreement and returning to FC Porto was the most important thing for me, as I felt very good here last season.”
Grujic added that he “couldn’t ignore” the “affection” of Porto fans as they urged him to re-sign with the club upon the expiry of his loan deal earlier this summer.
The 25-year-old leaves Liverpool with a heavy heart, though, having hoped to establish himself as a key player under Jurgen Klopp, who made him his first-ever signing at the club.
But an increase in competition in midfield and a lack of stability out on loan saw him drop down the pecking order, and he was forced to move on to further his career.
Taking to Instagram after the move, Grujic paid tribute to the club he called home for over half a decade, describing it as a “great honour”:
“[It] was a great honour to be part of this massive club!” he wrote.
“[I] made some lifelong friends, learned many things on and off the pitch and will bring them with me in the new challenges.
“Thank you Liverpool FC!”
Grujic’s post was liked by Steven Gerrard, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Takumi Minamino, Kostas Tsimikas, Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum among others, showing the respect he enjoyed at Liverpool.
Dejan Lovren wrote “well done, step on it,” while goalkeeping coach John Achterberg wished Grujic “good luck in your next journey.”