Marko Grujic hoping for a better season at Liverpool than his first
BIRKENHEAD, England -- Marko Grujic is confident that his second season at Liverpool will be much better than his first.
Grujic, 21, arrived at Liverpool last summer from Red Star Belgrade for £5.1 million, but has only made eight first-team appearances since then after multiple injuries hindered his debut campaign at the club.
The midfielder scored a long-range goal in Liverpool's 4-0 win over Tranmere Rovers in a preseason friendly on Wednesday, and says the upcoming warm-up matches will give him chance to show Jurgen Klopp that he can contribute this season.
Reflecting on his first season at Liverpool, Grujic told reporters: "I started really good in preseason 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 compared to the first one.
"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."
There is the chance for further opportunities for Grujic this season, with Liverpool potentially embarking on a Champions League campaign, should they overcome the two-legged playoff round.
"We will have more games," the Serbia international added. "[With] two cup competitions, we need fresh players, fresh legs. 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.
"[The] 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."
Liverpool take on Wigan Athletic on Friday night before embarking on a near 6,000-mile trip to Hong Kong to take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
From Asia, Liverpool travel to Germany for a training camp and three friendlies and will conclude their preseason schedule in Dublin against Athletic Bilbao on Aug. 5.
"I think all young players, like me and the other guys, need these games to show the manager that we can play and are ready for the challenges," Grujic said. "We are looking forward to games in Hong Kong and then Germany. We will try to show to all of our fans that we can play."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.