This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Despite some late interest from Premier League side Brighton and Serie A outfit Atalanta, Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic has rejoined Hertha Berlin on another season-long loan spell.
The 23-year-old shone for the Bundesliga side last term, netting five goals and recording one assist in 22 league appearances for the Berlin-based team – head coach Pal Dardai was certainly pleased with Grujic’s contributions, saying: “This isn’t meant as an insult to anyone else, but Marko is by far the best midfielder I’ve seen in my time at the club.”
It sounds simple enough. Young midfielder, bags of potential yet to be fulfilled, and a chance to hone his talents at a club who clearly like him for one more season. However, Liverpool transfer guru Michael Edwards has struck gold with the finer details of this deal.
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Liverpool currently have seven first-team midfielders in their squad – James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gini Wijnaldum. In that respect, the 6ft 3 star being sent away on loan makes perfect sense. The Serbian presumably wouldn’t have played much, and any side keen to take the powerful midfielder on loan would have been doing Liverpool a favour.
But, Edwards has somehow made it so that Hertha Berlin have bent over backwards to make the deal happen.
Edwards has managed to obtain a £2m loan fee from the German club, including £500,000 in potential bonuses. Hertha Berlin will also pay all of Grujic’s wages, whilst there is a penalty structure in place to ensure that the talented prospect gets enough playing time to develop.
We’re talking about a player that presumably would’ve only appeared in domestic cup competitions for Liverpool next term had he stayed – Grujic was simply surplus to requirements for the 2019/20 campaign at least, but Edwards has managed to negotiate a cracking deal in terms of financial benefit to the Reds and in terms of getting the maximum for the Serb’s development.
There simply isn’t anything to moan about in yet another shrewd piece of business from Edwards.