Hertha Berlin have secured the services of talented Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic from English Premier League side Liverpool for the 2018/19 season. Former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp identified the Bundesliga’s only capital club as the ideal place for the rising start to progress, but who is Grujic?
Club: Hertha Berlin (on loan from Liverpool)
Position: Central midfielder
Described as the future of Serbia’s midfield, Grujic’s potential is second to none, but he has yet to find a home in one of Europe’s top five leagues. A Serbia youth international from U16 all the way to the first-team, his 6' 3" frame makes him a formidable force in the centre of midfield, where he prefers to be deployed. The Belgrade-born talent has made eight appearances for Liverpool without scoring and spent the 2017/18 season on loan in England’s second tier, the Championship, with Cardiff City. Making 13 appearances and scoring one goal, Grujic helped the Welsh side win promotion to the Premier League.
Plays a bit like: Leon Goretzka
He was initially compared to Serbia international Nemanja Matic when his talent first emerged, as a rangy midfield force. However, Grujic is much more of a box-to-box player, who can threaten in attack as much as he can help reinforce the defence. Like Bayern Munich's Goretzka, his height is an advantage when moving forward with the ball as his size and speed make him so difficult to dispossess. Comfortable in possession and with a wide passing range, Grujic can become the link between defence and attack at Hertha.
Did you know?
Grujic came through the famed youth academy of Red Star Belgrade in Serbia, and made his debut aged just 17. He was part of one of the club’s most successful teams ever as they notched 19 consecutive league wins on route to the league title in 2015/16.
What they’re saying
“I like the boy a lot. He’s made progress like hell. His heading is outstanding and I see a big future for him.” – Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp
“I think he’s got better, but I think he’s got more strings to his bow. He’s made us play a bit more, he’s got quite good vision and he’s been very good in the air for us as well so he’s growing into it." - Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock
"With Marko, we’ve got exactly the type of player for central midfield that we were looking for. He’s technically strong and fits in perfectly with our defensive and offensive requirements. His physique in duels and his good heading ability also fit our profile." - Hertha Berlin sporting director Michael Preetz