Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic feels 2017/18 will be a season for him to make a lot more impact than last time around.
The former Red Star Belgrade youngster spoke to “Sport Klub”, a media outlet which covers all the countries of former Yugoslavia and exclusively provides live TV coverage of Premier League games in the region. Musing on the pre-season which just ended, Grujic said he believes he will spend much more time on the pitch during the Premier League season. He also emphasized the importance of physical preparation for the planned development of Liverpool’s style and expressed his expectation of a more notable role in a Liverpool shirt.
“This is the aspect of the game where I’ve achieved most progress, and physical preparations required some extremely hard work. In Hong Kong we spent more time with the fans and promoting the club, but in Germany we worked very hard, three training-sessions a day. Liverpool have always been at or around the top when it comes to distance covered in games and I believe this season is not going to be an exception.“
“I feel better, and I feel closer to the team. I haven’t spoken with the manager about game-time, but I think he’s seriously counting on me. I even started the game against Athletic Bilbao which was a kind of a final trial. Everybody knows that the Premier League is hard, that there are no easy games, but I expect from myself and from the whole team to enter the season motivated, starting with the Watford opener, and to play every game to win.”
Grujic made his move from Red Star Belgrade in January 2016, but he remained at the 1991 European Champions Cup winner for the remainder of the 2015/16 season on loan, winning the title in the Serbian Super Liga.
Liverpool have been dragged into a long and wearying transfer saga revolving around Philippe Coutinho, as the media kept linking Barcelona with the Brazilian throughout the summer. The Catalan club even made two substantial bids in an attempt to secure his services, but they were both instantly turned down, as Liverpool believe that selling their main player at this point of their progress would be a huge mistake. They have therefore reiterated their stance and officially confirmed that Coutinho is not for sale and that they consider the matter closed.
Immediately afterwards, Coutinho responded by e-mailing in a transfer request, but Liverpool claim nothing has changed and the player is still not for sale.
On training with Coutinho, Grujic said:
“He is by far the hardest man to mark in training. The trouble for me and the other midfielders is that the manager has pulled him back into midfield. Therefore we have to double-up on him, but stopping him is still practically impossible”.
Liverpool play their season-opener against Watford at the Vicarage Road on Saturday.