By 90Min
December 22, 2017

With Emre Can's departure from Liverpool looking increasingly likely by the day, the Reds' hierarchy must be very keen to replace their German technician as soon a possible.

Many fans will cite incoming Guinean midfielder Naby Keita as a natural replacement for the 23-year-old midfielder. However, it is important to note that Keita was initially signed from RB Leipzig to come in and play alongside Can, as opposed to directly replacing him.


Thus, it seems as though Jurgen Klopp will be forced to look for alternative targets to replace the outgoing midfielder.

Numerous names have been thrown around, including Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Schalke's Leon Goretzka and Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot.

However, there remains an alternative option that already plies his trade at Anfield - one of Klopp's first acquisitions as Liverpool manager, the young midfielder has gone under the radar for a significant duration of his time with the Reds.

The in-house option to slot straight into the Liverpool first team and replace Emre Can is none other than the former Red Star Belgrade man, Marko Grujic.


Since making the switch to Merseyside, Grujic has only made a handful of appearances for the Reds, never truly given the chance to shine and fulfil his abundant potential. As a result, the young Serbian is likely to be sent out on loan in January as a means to accrue some much-needed minutes on the pitch at senior level.

However, with contract rebel Can's move away from the red side of Merseyside being little short of a formality, it could prove seriously beneficial if Klopp were to hang on to Grujic and use him in the German's stead.

Handing the 21-year-old midfielder some more minutes with the first team could prove significantly more beneficial in breaking him into life in the Premier League, as opposed to sending him out on loan to another club that isn't guaranteed to give him the game time he needs.

Grujic proved to be an incredibly impressive member of Red Star Belgrade's 2015/16 Serbian SuperLiga winning side, either scoring or assisting 13 goals in 29 games from midfield and being awarded with a place in the team of the season.

The young midfielder is an adaptable, box-to-box player who relishes a strong challenge and knows how to find the net. Furthermore, versatility is a strength of the youngster, with the Serbian being capable of playing in either a more advanced or deep-lying position in midfield.

In Liverpool's 2016/17 pre-season tour, Grujic proved to be a surprisingly impressive member of the squad, his highlight coming in the form of an emphatic, looping header in a 4-0 win over Barcelona at Wembley.

The man is quick to adapt and should Liverpool opt to keep hold of their young Serbian star this coming transfer window, they could have a ready-made replacement for Can by the time he inevitably leaves in the Summer.

The Reds have already suffered a blow as they were unable to convince Can to stay at Anfield, now they must avoid making yet another and work to evolve Grujic into the top class midfielder he has the potential to become.

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