As it stands, Liverpool look set to cash in on Marko Grujic, as a host of Bundesliga clubs are all being linked with a permanent move for the Serbian midfielder.
Grujic last featured for Liverpool in December 2017, having been shipped out on successive loan deals to Cardiff and then Hertha Berlin - who are incidentally interested in snapping him up this summer. With the rest of Liverpool's midfielders demonstrating remarkable consistency throughout 2018/19, it does appear as though the 23-year-old's time with the Reds is destined to come to an end sooner rather than later.
But if Liverpool were to part ways with Grujic, then they could be making a huge mistake that they will inevitably end up regretting over the next few seasons - a mistake which could be easily avoided.
If we hark back to 2015 when Jurgen Klopp was first appointed as Liverpool's manager, he took over a team that was simply not up to scratch - at least to compete with the rest of the top six, that is.
The German coach took his time before carrying out a complete overhaul of the squad at his disposal - the bizarre loan signing of Steven Caulker is testament to that - but he did go out of his way to sign a little known teenage midfielder from Red Star Belgrade in the 2016 January transfer window.
The fact that Klopp - who has yet to really drop the ball when it comes to the transfer window with Liverpool - was eager to sign Grujic at such a young age for £5m speaks volume about the Serbian's undeniable technical quality.
Admittedly, that quality wasn't on show often enough during Grujic's few appearances for Liverpool, but he was finally able to demonstrate exactly what he is capable of with Hertha.
He was consistently impressive during his 22 Bundesliga appearances, registering five goals along the way, demonstrating a keen eye for a pass as well as a willingness to get stuck in at any given opportunity.
Marko Grujic: “If I could even choose, I would stay for another year or maybe even two years at Hertha to help me develop further.” (Bild)— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) March 27, 2019
His performances were so impressive in fact, that Hertha's manager Pal Dardai boldly stated (via the Bundesliga website):
High praise indeed, but it's certainly warranted when you consider how influential Grujic became as the season progressed - barring his time on the sidelines with an ankle injury
In short, the player who has returned to Melwood is much more refined and undoubtedly more mature than the one who left for Germany last summer.
Grujic can offer plenty, then. But what also needs to be considered is how he would fit into a squad which is currently full to the brim with players who are capable of taking their place in the starting XI.
It's almost impossible to argue that Grujic would be able to displace any of Liverpool's midfield regulars, but squad depth is an area which the Reds need to strengthen if they are to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title again next season.
Injuries weren't a concern for Jurgen Klopp's men in 2018/19, but the threat is always there and Liverpool have to ensure that they are prepared for any situation. Going into next season, there's a chance they may become a little limited in the middle of the park.
Adam Lallana has failed to sufficiently impress in recent seasons, James Milner isn't getting younger (despite being remarkably consistent) and young talents such as Curtis Jones are far from ready from regular first team appearances. There will certainly be room for Grujic.
This point is made even more pertinent when you consider the fact that Liverpool are still lacking when it comes to midfielders who can help to ease the burden on their usually lethal front three.
Naby Keita has proven that he is better suited as a box-to-box midfielder, which leaves Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the only midfielder who can help to bridge the gap between midfield and attack - a job that Grujic was capable of doing at Hertha.
That's not to mention the financial aspect of a potential sale. Sure, Liverpool will make short term gains by selling Grujic on for a hefty profit, but they still may need to invest in another central midfielder. Judging by their recent exploits in the transfer market, that midfielder won't be cheap, by any means.
Keeping hold of Grujic negates that need to invest in central midfield, which also means that more emphasis ore can be placed on improving the rest of the squad. A new left-back, backup goalkeeper and striker could all be necessary purchases this summer, so Liverpool will have to use their transfer budget as sensibly as possible.
Giving Grujic a chance to shine - even if he only gets his chances in the domestic cup competitions - is a low-risk, high reward strategy that Liverpool must take and, if they do decide to part ways with the midfielder, then a buyback clause is the first thing they should be negotiating.
Source : 90min