Aston Villa have been told how much they’ll have to pay for one of their mooted summer targets this week, and Dean Smith would be wise to get the wallet out if he is to land a potential upgrade…
According to Goal, Liverpool are aiming to offload up to ten fringe players as Jurgen Klopp looks to trim his first-team squad for the new campaign, one of which is Marko Grujic, who the Reds want around £20m for.
The same source revealed Villa’s interest last month, claiming the Midlands outfit ‘have discussed the possibility of a deal’ but at the time, Bournemouth’s Philip Billing was the more likely option.
Grujic’s recent loan club Hertha Berlin are also keen to bring him back to Germany after featuring over 50 times during across two seasons.
The Villans would be wise to stump up those eight-figures to clinch the Serbian international as it’s evident that he’d be an instant upgrade to the defensive midfield department.
Smith currently has Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba in the role, but neither player performed as well as Grujic last season and that was amongst a considerably better Hertha side.
Per WhoScored, the 24-year-old averaged more aerials won (3.4), clearances (2.3), tackles (1.9), shots (1.2) and dribbles (1) per game in the Bundesliga than either defensive midfielder managed for Smith last season.
Grujic has been compared to fellow countryman Nemanja Matic in the past, but more recently a link to Bayern’s Leon Goretzka has emerged as the midfielder is “tall, rangy, comfortable on the ball and with a good range of passing.”
Ex-Hertha coach Pal Dardai described the Reds ace as “by far the best midfielder I’ve seen in my time at the club” – he was there for over 22 years – whilst Jurgen Klopp labelled him “outstanding” before tipping him for a “big future,” so perhaps it’s a surprise not to see him break into the first-team at Anfield.
At just £20m, this move simply seems like a no-brainer and one that Smith should absolutely pull the trigger on.
AND in other news, Aston Villa could land some much-needed creativity in Championship target…