Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic took another step towards his return to the first-team after appearing for the Under-23s in Monday's 5-1 thrashing of Reading.

Grujic, 20, has not featured in the senior squad since a cameo appearance off the bench in the EFL Cup victory over Leeds United in November. The summer arrival from Partizan Belgrade impressed during pre-season but has started just three matches this term having struggled with a hamstring problem.

The Serbian midfielder was one of the few players not to travel on Liverpool's recent warm weather training camp in La Manga on the advice of the club's medical staff. He has stepped up his recovery, however, after playing an hour as an Under-23 side in their Premier League 2 match on Monday night, a side which was bolstered by eight players with first-team experience.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Connor Randall, Joe Gomez, Kevin Stewart, Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo all featured on Monday night but it was 16-year-old striker Rhian Brewster who stole the show.

At just 16, he has been a regular goal scorer for the Under-18s before he was called up for his Under-23 debut earlier this year, scoring on his debut against Ipswich Town in the Premier League Cup in January. The England Under-17 international added two more goals to his tally last night to end Reading's slim hopes of a fightback.

Marko Grujic
Grujic hoping to fight is way back into first-team contention. Getty

Brewster was part of Chelsea's academy before deciding to move to Merseyside two years ago and has now developed into one of the Kirkby Academy's brightest young talents.

In a recent interview with the club's website, Brewster explained he is trying to mimic the playing style of Brazil international Roberto Firmino, while he also hopes to develop a style similar to that of Reds legend Luis Suarez.

"His [Suarez's] playing style is a bit like mine, quick feet, can score goals and if I could play for Liverpool's first team like him one day that would be amazing."

Having given Woodburn his senior debut last November at just 17, Jurgen Klopp has shown he will not hesitate to call upon the academy's brightest young talents. Brewster will hope he is next in line.