Liverpool transfer rumour: Marko Grujic chose Jurgen Klopp over a move to Chelsea
Promising Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic produced a stellar performance in midfield for Liverpool, starting in the Reds’ Round of 16 EFL cup win over Tottenham at Anfield on Tuesday. However, things could have gone very differently for him in the Premier League as it is reported that Chelsea were also very interested in securing the youngster’s signature from his former club, Red Star Belgrade in the 2015-16 January transfer window, before Liverpool swooped in and signed him.
Further, it appears that Jose Mourinho’s sacking at Chelsea was the chief reason behind the Blues missing out on signing Grujic, making him Jurgen Klopp’s first signing at Liverpool. According to a report in joe.co.uk, “Grujic was recommended to Chelsea by their scouting department last year only for the proposed deal to go awry as a result of Jose Mourinho’s dismissal. Liverpool were left in a pole position to complete the signing.”
Upon signing for Liverpool, Grujic was immediately loaned back to his club Red Star Belgrade for the remainder of the 2015-16 season and guided them to winning the Serbian Superliga. He finished the season with 29 appearances, 6 goals, and 7 assists, and was also voted into the league’s team of the year for his contribution in what was a season without a single defeat for Red Star Belgrade.
Grujic has previously been described as the next Nemanja Matic, due to his tall frame of 6 foot 3 inches and similar playing style, but he can also play further up the pitch, unlike Matic. Had Chelsea signed him, he would have been likely to provide backup for the likes of Matic and Fabregas in midfield. The young Serb was involved in Liverpool’s preparations for the current season since the start of pre-season, where he impressed Klopp, scoring a goal whenever called upon.
He scored a memorable goal in Liverpool’s pre-season friendly against Barcelona – a looping header from even further out than the penalty spot to seal his team’s 4-0 victory over the Spanish giants, and immediately caught the attention of the football watching English public.
Although still not currently a part of Jurgen Klopp’s first team plans, he looks set to be a part of Liverpool’s midfield in the future, starting by featuring in the English cup competitions. Upon signing for Liverpool, he stated that he would “choose Liverpool over Real Madrid or Barcelona”, and made his Premier League debut in a 2-0 loss to Burnley earlier this season, coming on as a substitute for Adam Lallana.
Here are Grujic’s best bits from this year’s pre season -
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