Marko Grujic has spoken of the spine-tingling moment when he first arrived at Liverpool – and says he’d join the Reds ahead of Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The midfielder, 19, joined the Reds last month and was loaned back to Red Star Belgrade until the end of the season as part of the £5.1million deal.
Grujic became the first signing of Klopp’s reign and the player has spoken about how his new manager played a key role in ensuring Liverpool beat off competition from across Europe to secure his signature.
However, Grujic knows he faces a big battle to break into Liverpool’s first team – and admitted his heart ‘almost stopped beating’ when he first arrived at their Melwood training base.
“The players in Liverpool are phenomenal so I have to work on improving my physical strength,” he told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I have to become strong enough because I want to be able to go into a duel with anyone.
“Liverpool players looked physically flawless. Wide shoulders and strong legs. Everything is on the highest level.
“I would choose Liverpool over Real Madrid and Barcelona. I love them! I love the Premier League because of the energy and the atmosphere.”
Grujic admits he was overwhelmed when he met his new team-mates for the first time at Melwood after flying to Merseyside last month to undergo his medical.
“I had just finished all my examinations, and I climbed upstairs where I saw all of them having lunch,” he added.
“I almost passed out from excitement. My heart almost stopped!
“I approached everyone and greeted them. I went weak at the knees with excitement but I sat down and had lunch.
“After that I went to have some more tests. I will remember this forever.
“Dejan Lovren really cheered me up and impressed me. He is good friends with Lazar. He welcomed me with the words: ‘Is it finally over? We Balkan boys have to stick together!’.”
It was Grujic’s choice to remain at Red Star until the summer as he’s desperate to help the runaway leaders clinch the Serbian title.
But he remains in close contact with Liverpool staff and is determined to make a big impression in pre-season.
“The upcoming six months will be very important for me. I will have a lot of work to do in addition to my training and games at Red Star,” he added.