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TBR View: Was loaning out Marko Grujic a rare Liverpool mistake?

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English Premier League

TBR View: Was loaning out Marko Grujic a rare Liverpool mistake?

Marko Grujic is enduring a torrid time during a loan spell at Porto and in hindsight, could Liverpool have utilised him in their team this season?

The Serbian talent joined the Portuguese giants on a season-long loan during the summer with first-team football in his mind.

Grujic has made just two Liga NOS starts, with two more coming in the Champions League but largely he has been used as a substitute.

The Premier League champions opted to loan the 25-year-old out for the third consecutive season after failing to find a buyer willing to match Liverpool’s £18 million valuation.

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Hindsight is wonderful but there’s a suggestion that Liverpool could have done with Grujic during the current campaign.

Some will look at it and feel it he can’t get in Porto’s team, what hope did he have at Liverpool.

Sergio Conceicao opts for a flat 4-4-2, however, and that hasn’t suited Grujic at all.

Back at Liverpool, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have both spent time playing centre-back for the Reds this season, leaving the midfield ranks depleted at times.

There is no doubt that Grujic wouldn’t have been a regular when everyone is fit but he’d have played plenty of football.

Naby Keita has once again been troubled with injuries and Klopp’s midfield options have been limited.

 

With Liverpool now struggling for goals, Grujic might have been the box-to-box midfielder to help them through a sticky period.

During his two cup outings for Liverpool this season he played as a holding midfielder – and he would never compete with Thiago for that Anfield role.

Over the last two seasons, however, he shone at Hertha Berlin playing in a more advanced midfield role. He fired nine goals and registered three assists during his time on loan in the Bundesliga

Klopp wouldn’t have foreseen such a rotten run with injuries, of course, but he could now welcome a player like Grujic into his ranks.

Future

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what the future holds for the man with nine caps for his country.

If he doesn’t feature for Porto more often during the second half of the campaign, the current £18 million that Liverpool want will become a pipedream.

The Reds signed him for just over £5 million and they could be forced to accept something closer to that.

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Alternatively, he could be handed a reprieve and be given a chance to bring something fresh into the midfield.

Grujic has a contract at Anfield until 2023 and Liverpool are facing a bit of a conundrum when it comes to the £15,000-a-week midfielder.

Hindsight is great but given his lack of game time at Porto, Liverpool might have been better off keeping him this season.

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