Marko Grujic has challenged himself to play “34 very good games” for Hertha Berlin next season to show Jurgen Klopp that he is worthy of a place in his side.
The 23-year-old is set to spend a second successive season on loan in the Bundesliga, having quickly established himself as an integral member of Hertha’s midfield unit in 2018-19.
Grujic, who was Klopp’s first signing on Merseyside, has spent a major proportion of his time at Anfield out on loan but is looking to bounce back after injuries saw him miss plenty of game time last season.
The midfielder revealed to Sport Bild that a decision to return to Berlin was mutually agreed by himself and Klopp, although a decision over his long-term future has been mapped out.
Grujic said on his chat with the Reds boss: “I was in Liverpool for a few days after last season, did some medical tests. We sat together and talked about my plans.
“My contract in Liverpool runs until 2023. We both saw it in a similar way: I only got to call on 50 percent of my opportunities in Berlin. Minor injuries had thrown me back.
“He thought, and I agreed that it is better for my development to stay in the Bundesliga for another year.”
The opportunity for another season of regular first-team football is one which Grujic feels can prove to Klopp that he can become an integral part of his plans from 2020 onwards – having watched on as the Reds lifted the Champions League trophy for a sixth time last month.
“When I see such games, I always realise that I belong to such a big club and it’s where I want to be,” he added.
“If I make 34 very good games for Hertha, the chance to be a true Liverpool player next year is great.”
Grujic may well be called on in 2020-21 with midfielders Adam Lallana and James Milner both entering the final year of their contracts this summer.
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