Marko Grujic remains intent on enjoying a long-term future at Liverpool – but admits his immediate goal is to return to form at Hertha Berlin after something of a fall from grace this season.
The Serbia international was the first signing Jurgen Klopp made as Liverpool boss, joining in a £5.2million switch from Red Star Belgrade in January 2016.
However, unlike the vast majority of Klopp signings, Grujic has struggled to make an impact and has not played for the Reds since December 2017, having spent the last two years out on loan.
Now some months into his second season on loan with Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, Grujic admitted earlier this year that he’s not planning to return to Liverpool before the end of his loan and is loving his time at the capital club.
However, despite reports Liverpool could look to sell the player if an offer of around €40m comes Liverpool’s way, Grujic’s immediate priority will be to return to form at Hertha, having been dropped from their side for the match with RB Leipzig prior to the international break and was then withdrawn with 70 minutes on the clock in the 4-0 defeat to Augsburg on Sunday.
“I was not the happiest person when I saw the lineup,” he told Berliner Morgenpost.
“But it happens in football, it’s also a warning shot at me. It gives me the impulse to work harder in training
“I’m still a young player, there are some fluctuations and I still have a lot to learn. But I’ve also changed my training a bit, sometimes I used to do too much for my legs in the gym and was not fresh enough in the games.
“Unfortunately, sometimes something has to go wrong in life before you make a change, often for the better.
“Maybe the concentration has dropped before us. But eleven points in eleven games are a clear warning, that’s not enough. In training, it really got down to business lately, that’s a good sign that everyone’s been awake.”
Liverpool appear well stocked in the midfield area, with the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Naby Keita and Adam Lallana all in reserve to provide cover and competition for regulars Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho, meaning Grujic faces a long battle to force his way into Klopp’s thinking.
However, the player is clearly intent on not giving up the ghost as he added: “Yes, but first I must show better performances for Hertha.”
Asked if Klopp is often on contact, he continued: “Not often. Liverpool play many games and have lent out many players.
“But there is a responsible person who looks at the loaners, keeps in touch and gives feedback. We call after every game.
“Everyone would, of course, like to play for such a team, but for that, I have to show better performances. But I do not think much of Liverpool, but of how we get on with Hertha from the current situation.”