Although the paper work is unlikely to be completed in time for Liverpool’s first pre-season friendly against Tranmere Rovers, Reds new boy Marko Grujic has been cleared to take part in the rest of their extensive schedule after being granted a work permit.
As training got back under way at Melwood under the watchful of eye of Jurgen Klopp and his team, the status of the Serbian midfielder was still unknown despite his move to Anfield being completed in January. Having spent the remainder of the season on loan as Red Star Belgrade romped to the SuperLiga title, the 20-year has only just arrived on Mersyside to meet up with the squad and get ready for the new Premier League campaign.
Under current regulations, the young midfielder did not automatically qualify for a work permit, but at a hearing in Manchester yesterday morning, the FA was quite receptive to the Reds case. Not only was Klopp in attendance, but the German manager personally spoke out for the 20-year old and according to the Liverpool ECHO underlined how “highly he rates Grujic and spoke about his importance and value to the club as they head into the 2016/17 campaign”.
His first signing after taking over at Anfield last October, the energetic Serbian will now be able to fight for a place in the squad — and he’ll have no shortage of competition. Klopp is expected to continue recruiting as he looks to shape his squad the coming season, but at the time of writing, Grujic will be battling for a spot in a midfield stacked with the likes of German international Emre Can, club captain Jordan Henderson, veteran workhorse James Milner and potentially Welsh maestro Joe Allen. The potential is there to carve out a spot, but it’s not going to be easy.