Marko Grujic returns to Liverpool at the end of the season after a spell with FC Porto. That gives one year for a senior duo to impress.
Marko Grujic has officially joined FC Porto on loan but he returns in a year. The Portuguese outfit have no option or obligation to buy – Grujic will be back at the end of the season.
And that gives two current players one year to impress or risk losing their place. Grujic is going to a Champions League club, after all. If he does well, Liverpool may well consider adding him to their own squad permanently.
Poor Oxlade-Chamberlain. He’s in a weird position, really, as his injury came at the worst time. That’s because both Jordan Henderson and Thiago are out – there’s a chance to lay down a marker here.
Instead, he’s out, too. And at a time when Liverpool have a lot of midfielders. Even worse, Curtis Jones looks like a fantastic attacking midfielder and that’s been Oxlade-Chamberlain’s niche over the last few years.
Of all the senior midfielders, he’s been the most attacking one since joining for £35m in 2017. That’s not necessarily the case anymore.
Liverpool trim their midfield next year. Maybe it’s as simple as Gini Wijnaldum leaving at the end of his contract but they’ll do something. Oxlade-Chamberlain needs to make sure they don’t trim him, too, in order to make space for Grujic.
Keita has the opposite problem. He has had the chance to impress in the first-team over the start of the season but hasn’t impressed. He’s been poor, in fact, and at risk of sliding down the pecking order.
Grujic leaving lessens the competition, however, so that’s good news for Keita. But he’s got to kick on this year and finally fulfil that £53m price.
If he doesn’t, and Grujic impresses for Porto, Liverpool might begin investing their time in the Serbian, instead.