Marko Grujic was back in the Liverpool team for only the second time in three years.

Amid reported interest from Borussia Mönchengladbach [Goal] and Hertha Berlin, this was both a chance for Grujic to convince manager Jurgen Klopp to pick him more often and to put himself in the shop window.

Grujic’s performance was hugely impressive considering he is a fairly unproven figure in this Liverpool team despite signing for the club back in January 2016.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 01: (THE SUN,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Marko Grujic of Liverpool with Joe Willock of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup fourth round match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on October 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around United Kingdom remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

What he did well

Grujic was extremely effective in possession and was Liverpool’s bravest outlet on the ball, constantly looking to take the game to the opposition and make things happen.

He was desperately unlucky not to score having been thwarted by Bernd Leno on several occasions.

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In fact, Grujic attempted more than double the number of shots (7) to his Liverpool teammates with the Serbian international taking confidence from his first goal for the club last week against Lincoln City.

On the ball, the 24-year-old was a class act, and he boasted a pass success rate of 88 per cent, which again was more than any other of his Reds teammate.

Defensively, he was just as influential, making five tackles and three interceptions while winning three of his offensive aerial duels according to WhoScored.

With a bit more composure, Grujic would have got himself a goal against Arsenal, but this was another encouraging performance.

Just to be getting into these forward positions was a good sign and Grujic’s attacking intent was good to see.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 01: (THE SUN,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Marko Grujic of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup fourth round match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on October 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around United Kingdom remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

How can he improve?

The big question mark over Grujic is whether he can deliver for Liverpool in the big moments.

While he showcased his attacking intent and desire to get forward, only two of his seven attempted shots were actually recorded on target.

This demonstrates that although Grujic demonstrated bravery in his approach to innovate a breakthrough for his team, he needs to be more effective with the ball if he is to stake a claim in Klopp’s regular PL set-up.

This may be overly critical but, the harsh reality is that even following such an impressive performance from Grujic, it will take significantly more from the Serb if he is going to threaten to disrupt Klopp’s midfield plans.

The issue for Grujic is that he did not do enough to displace any of the likes of Fabinho, Naby Keita or Georginio Wijnaldum for this weekend, and with the international break upcoming, he could face another month’s wait until his next Liverpool game.

While his future remains in doubt given his persistent transfer links, Grujic has demonstrated that he is an extremely talented player in the two cameo appearances he has made in the past seven days and he certainly can hold his head high.

After all, it could very well have been his last ever Liverpool match with the transfer deadline just days away.

Reaction

Grujic’s performance prompted a positive response from Liverpool supporters and many feel he could make Klopp consider twice before sanctioning a deal for the player to leave…

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