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There is no room in the Liverpool playing squad for midfielder Marko Grujic.
That is the view of elite development coach Vitor Matos, who has explained why the 24-year-old has been sent to Porto on a season long loan having impressed in the Bundesliga for Hertha Berlin.
Jurgen Klopp has praised the attitude of the Serbia international in the past but it looks increasingly unlikely that he will ever play a role in the first-team squad at Anfield.
Grujic might have hoped for a chance under Klopp this season after playing the full 90 minutes in their Carabao Cup clashes against Lincoln City and Arsenal, but that has now been dashed.
“Marko had a very regular and consistent year on loan at Hertha Berlin and was at this early stage with us in which he played two official games,” Matos told Portuguese outlet O Jogo.
“He played in both as a No.6 and, despite not being his most natural position, he performed very well.
“He’s a midfielder who feels comfortable in a more positional game, but at the same time has a wide range of space. He has a good tactical culture and that allows him to be versatile in the functions of means in different structures.
“He’s aggressive in tackling and has a natural ability to guide the ball through the interior.”
Before adding: “He was one of Serbia’s greatest talents when he was signed.
“He never got room at Liverpool, due to the options for the positions, and at the same time the market opportunities that arose and allowed him more playing time.”
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Klopp said of Grujic way back in 2016: “We’re very pleased because Marko is a big talent and we’ve seen him a lot of times.
“When I came here, our scouts showed me some footage of a very skilled player from Red Star Belgrade.
“We watched it, we spoke to him, we met each other – he’s a good boy, a young boy but plays an important role at the moment at Red Star, who are the best team in Serbia.
“To describe him, I would say he’s a tall boy, but quick and good at technical things. He can play passes and can dribble. But he is young, so he has to develop. He will do this, so everything is okay.”
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