Marko Grujic has challenged himself to play “34 very good games” for Hertha Berlin next season to claim a spot in Jurgen Klopp’s side from 2020 and beyond.

Grujic is set to spend a second successive season on loan in the Bundesliga after having quickly established himself as an integral member of Hertha Berlin’s midfield unit.

The 23-year-old has spent a significant amount of his time out on loan since making the move to Anfield as Jurgen Klopp’s first signing, and after injury robbed him of a large portion of the 2018/19 season, he has set his sights on playing a full campaign.

The midfielder is eager to show his potential in one of Europe’s top five leagues after revealing to Sport Bild that the decision to return to Berlin was mutually agreed by himself and Klopp.

The Serbia international, who has made just 14 appearances for Liverpool, returned to Merseyside earlier in the summer to hold discussions with the Reds boss, where the plans for his future were laid out.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, August 7, 2018: Liverpool's Marko Grujic during the preseason friendly match between Liverpool FC and Torino FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I was in Liverpool for a few days after last season, did some medical tests. We sat together and talked about my plans,” he said.

“My contract in Liverpool runs until 2023. We both saw it in a similar way: I only got to call on 50 percent of my opportunities in Berlin. Minor injuries had thrown me back.

“He thought, and I agreed that it is better for my development to stay in the Bundesliga for another year.”

The opportunity for another season of regular first-team football is one which Grujic feels can propel him into Klopp’s plans for 2020 and beyond after being inspired to become a key player for the club after watching on in Madrid as the Reds went on to lift their sixth European Cup.

“When I see such games, I always realise that I belong to such a big club and it’s where I want to be,” he added.

“If I make 34 very good games for Hertha, the chance to be a true Liverpool player next year is great.”

Fussball, Herren, 1. Bundesliga, Saison 2018/19, 14. Spieltag, Hertha BSC - Eintracht Frankfurt, Jubel nach dem Tor zum 1:0 durch Marko Grujic (Nr. 15, Hertha BSC), 08.12.18, DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO, *** Football Men 1 Bundesliga Season 2018 19 14 Matchday Hertha BSC Eintracht Frankfurt Jubilation after the goal to 1 0 by Marko Grujic Nr 15 Hertha BSC 08 12 18 DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND OR QUASI VIDEO.

An uninterrupted 2019/20 season could prove decisive for Grujic’s Liverpool future as he has the potential to return to Anfield next summer as a ready-made midfield option.

Berlin manager Pal Dardai previously labelled the 23-year-old as the “best midfielder” he’s seen during his time with the Bundesliga outfit last term, where he made a total of 23 appearances and notched five goals.

With Adam Lallana and James Milner entering the final year of their deals there is a potential opening should he impress this coming season.


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Joanna Durkan