Grujic expects Liverpool future to be determined soon

By Sports Desk April 11, 2020

Marko Grujic hopes to discuss his Liverpool future in the coming months having admitted it is difficult to make the breakthrough at Anfield.

The Serbian midfielder, who turns 24 next week, is currently on his second season-long loan spell with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

Prior to that, he spent time with Cardiff City in the Championship and it has been over two years since he made a Premier League appearance for Liverpool.

Grujic is under contract until 2023 but his lack of first-team opportunities under Jurgen Klopp means he knows he must consider his next step carefully.

"I hope that [talks] will happen in the next few months," he told The Athletic.

"I'm sure we will sit down and discuss what is best for the club and what is best for me.

“I'm not a youngster any more. At the age of 24, I'm at the stage when I need to be making important steps in my career. I need to think and I need to be clever about what happens next.

"Is the best thing to stay in Liverpool and wait for a chance or is it time to have another loan or move to another club? At the moment, I don't know the answer. Everything is still open.

"The Bundesliga is a good league and over the past two years I’ve gained a lot of important experience and I feel like I’ve improved as a player."

Klopp typically operates with a three-man midfield and is blessed with plenty of options in that area, including Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnadlum, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner.

"That challenge is so big," Grujic added. "Those boys have performed so well this season, which I'm happy about.

"There are a lot of quality midfielders at Liverpool. It's honestly hard to get a chance."

Related items

  • Klopp not surprised by Old Trafford protests but says violence against police crossed a line Klopp not surprised by Old Trafford protests but says violence against police crossed a line

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp felt some protestors crossed a line during the demonstrations that caused their match with Manchester United at Old Trafford to be postponed.

    United supporters opposed to the Glazer family's ownership of the club gathered at the stadium and outside the hotel where the teams were staying ahead of last Sunday's match as part of planned attempts to disrupt the fixture.

    Some fans were able to get onto the pitch at Old Trafford and there were some violent clashes with police outside the ground.

    United issued a statement saying a minority of fans had caused criminal damage to access the pitch, while Greater Manchester Police said 12 officers had reported injuries, one of whom had a broken eye socket and facial wound.

    One man has been charged with throwing fireworks in a street, using threatening behaviour and wilful obstruction of the highway for his part in the protests at the Lowry Hotel.

    Klopp, who was watching TV coverage unfold with his players in the hotel lobby as he waited to learn whether the game would go ahead, said such protests should always remain "completely peaceful".

    Speaking ahead of his side's Premier League match with Southampton on Saturday, he said: "Am I surprised that these kinds of things happen? No. I'm an absolute believer in democracy, [which] means I'm happy that people want to tell their opinion, that's completely fine, but I know that in situations like this it doesn't happen often that nobody gets hurt.

    "That's why I said a week before when all the pundits were going and asking for protests and stuff that we had to be careful and calm down and ask for the right things. I heard some policemen got injured and these kinds of things should not happen, breaking down the doors and stuff like this.

    "To tell your opinion, to tell the world what you think about some things is completely fine, as long as it's completely peaceful. It was not, as far as I know, completely peaceful. Then, it's not right any more."

    The United match was rearranged for May 13, a decision that left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer angry as it means the Red Devils must play three times in just five days.

    "Of course, I feel sympathy for him because it's not how it should be, but it's not good for us, to be honest. I would have preferred to play the game last week," Klopp said.

    "Now, we have five games in the last two weeks, so that's not really cool as well, but it is how it is. Nothing to complain about or whatever. It's just the situation."

    Liverpool will see Manchester City regain the Premier League title if they defeat Chelsea on Saturday, while the Reds are themselves embroiled in a battle for Europe. They sit seventh in the table, seven points outside the Champions League places, with five games to go.

    Klopp, who is not giving up on breaking back into the top four, thinks he and his players will have learned a lot from a difficult season blighted by injuries.

    "I know people think that's an excuse," he said. "In the moment when we lost our full defence, it felt like you break your leg. That's okay, you can still limp with that, but then we had to make our midfielders to transform them into defenders. Then, we broke pretty much our spine, and it's difficult to move.

    "In the beginning when we had problems, we were still kind of winning, in a good position but it's a long season and if anything else happens, we will struggle, and that's what happened.

    "To be in the position we were two years before, we needed to be nearly perfect and the situation needed to be nearly perfect. In a moment when it's not perfect for us, the league is too strong.

    "Could we now, instead of seventh, be fifth or fourth? Yes, of course, no doubt about that. We should have done better in specific moments. But you asked me what was the challenge: to deal with the amount of injuries was the challenge, and we couldn't deal with it as well as we wanted throughout the whole season.

    "I was most of the time not champion in my career, so I try to learn always. Did I learn a lot? Yeah, for sure. Some things you want to learn, some things you don't want to experience.

    "The players learned a lot as well – that's clear. That's the plan: that we use our new experience for the future, for next season especially, but you'll have to wait until then so we can show that we really got it."

  • Adelaide United 0-0 Wellington Phoenix: Ryan shows Strain in A-League stalemate Adelaide United 0-0 Wellington Phoenix: Ryan shows Strain in A-League stalemate

    Adelaide United continue to lose ground on A-League leaders Melbourne City following a 0-0 draw with Wellington Phoenix.

    The hosts saw Ryan Strain sent off 16 minutes from time to dampen hopes of a late rally, with Carl Veart's men winless in four.

    Adelaide are now six points behind City and have played a game more, with a trip to Melbourne to face their rivals next on the agenda.

    Having been held to a goalless draw last time out against Western United, Adelaide started brightly and Stefan Mauk should have capitalised on Josh Cavallo's fine delivery, but instead miscontrolled when well placed.

    Tomi Juric saw a strong header saved smartly by Oliver Sail as the home side pressed, but after a blank first half ambition had to take a back seat when Strain got his marching orders for a second yellow card after he kicked the ball away.

  • Lukaku: Ibrahimovic is good for Serie A Lukaku: Ibrahimovic is good for Serie A

    Romelu Lukaku believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic has helped to raise the level of Serie A and is not dwelling on their heated clash earlier this season.

    Lukaku had to be dragged away from Ibrahimovic after the Milan striker apparently insulted his mother during January's Coppa Italia derby.

    The Belgium striker equalised from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win for Inter, while the Sweden veteran was sent off.

    Ibrahimovic denied allegations of racially abusing Lukaku during the spat and, after inspiring Inter to a valedictory Scudetto triumph, the younger man seemed to have no intention of retaining any ill-feeling towards his former Manchester United team-mate.

    "We were losing 1-0, I missed a goal, I was a bit angry," he told Corriere Della Sera.

    "His words struck me. I'm not happy with having reacted like that but don't let myself get pushed around. 

    "I am humble and calm, I am a winner and I fight to death for my team-mates and for the victory."

    Lukaku looks likely to fall short in this season's Capocannoniere race as he sits on 21 goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo on 27.

    Ibrahimovic has 15, although his haul comes from 18 appearances, compared to 33 for Lukaku, giving him a superior minutes-per-goal rate (95.47 v 127.29).

    Lukaku feels Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo plying their trade in Serie A only adds to the division's appeal, with Jose Mourinho's appointment as Roma head coach this week providing similar lustre.

     

    "[Ibrahimovic is] a great player, he has won wherever he has played, he has scored more than 500 goals," he said.

    "We need players of this level in Serie A. He wants to win for himself, me for Inter, Ronaldo for Juve, now there is Mourinho at Roma.

    "They are all good things for Italy. The level is raised, let's hope Inter win again [next season]."

    Although ending Juventus' decade of dominance in Italy was joyously celebrated by Inter and their fans, Lukaku conceded there are pangs of regret of Antonio Conte's men bowing out at the group stage of the Champions League this season.

    Real Madrid and Borussia Monchengladbach progressed out of a tough round-robin section that also featured Inter and Shakhtar Donetsk.

    "Leaving in the group stage was a great disappointment, we should have qualified in that group," he added.

    "Real Madrid are strong, but we were better than the other two.  Next year we have to overcome the group, then anything can happen."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.