After a summer packed with some mesmerising international football, club football is back in the spotlight as our favourite teams begin their preparations for the upcoming season. Liverpool, like any other ambitious side, have lined up a whole host of friendly fixtures all over the world as they bid to get back into shape ahead of what should be a crucial season for Jurgen Klopp.
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While the results obtained during pre-season are not of much importance, the performances put in by the players can often go on to be the reason why they make, or fail to make the starting XI. The same goes for our new signings, who offered their first glimpse of themselves as legions of Reds all over the world looked on to get a taste of what was to come from them in the coming season.
Today, we’re going to take a look at two of the stars who were signed by Jurgen Klopp over the summer, while the remaining two will be covered in our next article.
- Marko Grujic
20-year-old Serbian Marko Grujic shot into the limelight back in the beginning of January after becoming Jurgen Klopp’s first signing as the manager of Liverpool. The little-known midfielder, however, did not join up with the Reds in the winter as he ended the season with Red Star, guiding them to league success.
Since joining up with the Reds earlier this month, Grujic has had a fortnight to acclimatize himself with life in England. The giant midfielder made his Reds debut just last night as he won acclaim for a fantastic individual performance as Liverpool romped to an easy 5-0 victory against Fleetwood Town.
Grujic was the best player on the pitch after earning his side a penalty, hitting the woodwork before finally grabbing a goal on his Red’s debut. Jurgen Klopp has described the youngster’s debut performance for the Reds as a “dream” and he’s already left us Kopites salivating at the prospect of seeing him do well for us.
- Joel Matip
Cameroon international Joel Matip became the second signing of the Jurgen Klopp era after he was snapped up on a Bosman back in February of this year. The 24-year-old Schalke man developed a big reputation for himself back in Germany and his free transfer is thought to have saved Liverpool at least 15m pounds.
The commanding defender joins the Reds as an established international who could easily have joined any club as per his desire. Like Grujic, Matip only joined up with his new team earlier this month. Matip, however, unlike Grujic, did not have too memorable a debut during our win over Tranmere. The former Schalke man did not have to do much and the most memorable action by the player was the foul that he committed just 30 seconds into the game. His display against Fleetwood is equally unremarkable as he did not have to exert himself too much.
In Matip’s case though, we need to remember that the player is coming back from minor ankle operation and it will be unfair to judge him too early. Despite a lack of intense action, Matip looked assured at the back and seemed to be doing well with his partner in the heart of defence, Dejan Lovren.