New Liverpool signing Marko Grujic has revealed how Lazar Markovic convinced him to join the Anfield outfit. The 19-year-old midfielder signed for the Reds in January and has revealed it was Markovic who urged him to make the switch.
Grujic was loaned back to Red Star Belgrade until the end of the season as part of the transfer deal, which was heavily influenced by his fellow Serb, who is currently on loan at Fenerbahçe.
"I spoke with Lazar Markovic and he told me good things about the club," the Liverpool star said. "He told me that Liverpool are a great club, that the pressure and expectations are enormous, and that the first two to three months are the most important.
"I will have to prove myself during that period and show my qualities. I will have to show what I am made of. I am very confident."
Liverpool beat off competition from other European clubs to secure Grujic's signature. The player also revealed the role Jurgen Klopp played in the transfer. "Everything started with the now famous phone call from Klopp," he told Serbian publication Blic.
"No-one told me that he was going to call. I was just sitting around when my phone started ringing and I saw a number on the screen starting with +44 ... England! When I answered I immediately recognised that German accent and that voice."
Grujic said the Liverpool boss spoke enthusiastically about how he wabted to develop him as a player. "He did most of the talking and told me about the plans that he had for me. His vision is that I should be something between a No. 6 and a No. 10, what they call a box-to-box midfielder," he explained.
"My only request was that I didn't want to be loaned out, I just want to play for Liverpool. He was very open, told me about how he sees my development. When a coach like that calls you on the phone personally, that's the greatest privilege. That call really cemented my desire to join Liverpool."
Of the Liverpool manager, Grujic added: "He is famous as someone who likes to work with young players. He has made [Neven] Subotic, [Robert] Lewandowski, [Shinji] Kagawa."