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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic believes he will soon make his mark at Anfield

Liverpool loanee Marko Grujic believes he will soon make his mark at Anfield despite another loan spell in the Bundesliga with Hertha BSC.

The 23-year-old has returned to the German capital for a second consecutive season as he prepares to join Liverpool's first team come 2020/21.
After an impressive start to the Bundesliga season, Hertha's no. 15 is confident his stay in Germany won't be permanent.
“It's not easy to become a part of the Liverpool squad, I can see myself in the red shirt but I have to become more experienced before I can wear it again,” Grujic told the ECHO.
“I want to improve my physical performance and take my concentration to another level. I want to be ready for Liverpool so I will have a chance to get into the team.”
Despite offers from Atalanta, Brighton and Eintracht Frankfurt, Grujic stayed at the Olympiastadion - revealing Jurgen Klopp was the driving force behind the decision.
He said: “He said that it would be a great opportunity for me to improve my development. The Bundesliga is one of the strongest leagues in the world and Hertha BSC is a big club.
“It is very important for me to play regularly right now and [Klopp] told me to fight for my place in the team.”
After a perfect start to the season, Klopp would be forgiven for nurturing talent in their own backyard, but the Reds wanted to see Grujic playing regularly.
Despite being a world away, Grujic revealed Klopp and Julian Ward - Liverpool's loan pathways and football partnerships manager - follow his every move.
“Klopp and I are texting regularly. I am also in close contact with the Liverpool loan-manager (Julian Ward), he watches every game that I'm in and we're texting afterwards.
“Also I am very close to Dejan Lovren and Roberto Firmino, but all of the players from Liverpool are great,” he said.
Many would happily trade England's north-west for a year in bustling Berlin, but Grujic admits he often wishes he were back under the Anfield lights.
“Sometimes I miss Liverpool, of course, it's one of the greatest teams in the world, but for my development it's more important to play regularly right now.
“Hertha is a special club and represents the capital of Germany. It will be a good experience - when I retire one day - to say that I played for such a big club like Hertha.”
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Grujic is well on his way to gaining much-needed experienced, having played every minute of his side's campaign.
Deployed mostly in central midfield, the Serb has started impressively, scoring twice in seven Bundesliga matches - including a goal against Bayern Munich at the Allianz.
A career in football seemed written in the stars for Grujic. His brother, and father - who famously confiscated his son's passport before the Liverpool move - worked in football before his own career began.
“I come from a footballing family,” he said. “My brother was playing football when I was young and my dad worked as a football journalist.
“In some ways they expected me to become a [professional] but I was only a kid loving football and playing for fun at the school court.”
The Belgrade native progressed quickly through Red Star's youth academy and believes his ascent derives from an incessant hunger to improve.
“As I grew up, I started to realise I had a chance to become a professional footballer. I can't remember one specific moment - I just started training very hard to arrive at where I am right now.”
Currently Grujic avoids the allure of Berlin's nightlife and instead focuses on self-improvement - on and off the pitch.
“When there is no training at the pitch, I like to workout at the gym. That's it. I am such a big fan of football that I can't live without it," he explained.
“[Even on] a day off I watch other leagues and other teams - I have friends all over the world playing in different clubs. It's important for me to stay in good contact with them.”
As for his hopes this season, Grujic wants to achieve European qualification with Hertha, and believes he can haul both himself and the club to greater heights.
“This season we can archive great things, I think we could reach sixth place in the Bundesliga. For me, it's most important to stay healthy and to play as many games as I can.”

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