Despite beating Lincoln City 7-2 on Thursday evening, there wasn’t really all that much to talk about after Liverpool’s Carabao Cup fixture this week.
However, one thing that did catch the eye was Marko Grujic’s first Liverpool goal, four years after signing for the Reds, and while the Serbian is something of a forgotten man at Anfield these days, he did catch the eye against the Imps.
Due to how stacked the Reds are in midfield these days, it seems unlikely that the 24-year-old is going to be all that prominent in Jurgen Klopp’s plans this season, and with Thursday’s goalscorer consistently being linked with a move away, it’s possible that he may not even be here beyond this transfer window.
However, if the Reds do opt to keep him, they may end up uncovering a player who can add a lot of value to the side.
Now, we’re not tipping him to follow in Jordan Henderson’s footsteps in winning a footballer of the year award, nor are we saying that he has the technical capabilities of Thiago Alcantara, but he is quite similar to another of Liverpool’s midfielders who may need replacing in the near future.
James Milner has built a career out of being a jack of all trades and a hard worker, and Grujic seems to be of a similar mould.
The Serbian didn’t really excel anywhere statistically last term, but he was steady across all areas, putting in 1.9 tackles per game, 0.8 interceptions and 2.3 clearances while also having a decent attacking output with 1.5 shots per game and 5 goals to his name.
That statistical makeup is eerily similar to what Milner was putting up during his first season at Anfield with the same goal tally coming off of 0.1 fewer shots per game, while the defensive output is also strikingly similar with Milner putting up 4.8 combined tackles, clearances and interceptions per game, while Grujic had 5 last term.
A Milner-esque player is a great addition for any team, and with Grujic previously proving that he’s willing to put in the effort to impress Jurgen Klopp with extra gym sessions, the Reds could have a ready-made replacement right under their noses.