Marko Grujic believes he has developed considerably at Liverpool despite his injury-hit debut season and is looking forward to proving he deserves to be part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans in the new campaign.
The Serbian scored a superb 25-yard effort that tucked inside the far right corner in the Reds’ 4-0 friendly victory over Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday night.
It was the club’s first pre-season fixture, and as was the case last year, Grujic made a strong start.
He was afforded 45 minutes from the off at Prenton Park, stationed in midfield alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and in front of captain Jordan Henderson.
The 21-year-old had one well-struck shot from the edge of the area palmed away by Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies, but wouldn’t be denied on the second occasion.
“Like in last season, I scored in our first match,” Grujic said.
“It's nice to get the goal, but there's a lot of work ahead of us. I started really good in pre-season last time and then I had two really bad injuries around the new year.
“I worked a lot to be back and then I felt really good — my body and everything. I can say it was a good year for me personally, because I developed really good and I prepared for my second season, which should be much better.
“From my point of view, I am now much better than when I came to Liverpool — physically and in football terms as well.
“I will try to show it as soon possible in the next few games and to show all the members of staff that I am ready to be in the squad and I can help the team achieve a few nice things.”
Grujic is expecting more opportunities in 2017-18 as the Reds look to navigate Champions League play-offs and mix it with Europe’s elite again.
“We will have more games and we need fresh players, fresh legs,” he said.
“Of course we don't want them, but always in each season, we have some injured players. That's how it is and we have to help each other.
“Players and the members of staff will try to do their best this season to go in the Champions League as far as we can and in the Premier League to be in the top positions.”