James Pearce gave an honest update on Liverpool loanees Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic, while speaking on The Athletic’s The Red Agenda podcast (18th March, 40:10).
What did he say?
The pair have been spending the season with AFC Bournemouth and Hertha Berlin respectively – likely with the hope of being able to make a return to the Liverpool squad next term.
However, this will be a massive challenge for them, given the strength of Liverpool’s current crop of players, who currently sit 25 points above anyone else in the Premier League.
Pearce has suggested this may be a test that they are not up to: “I think the other ones it will be interesting is what offers come in for Harry Wilson and Marko Grujic. They’d be two players who Klopp’s got big decisions to make on.
“I think the initial plan was to have both of those come back to the club, and they’d have a part to play in the early stages of pre-season. Especially when Klopp expected the Euros and Copa America to have an impact on pre-season plans, then make a final judgement call on them. I still think Wilson and Grujic are probably not quite at the level that Liverpool need.”
Watch Liverpool Videos With StreamFootball.tv Below
Wilson has certainly made an impact for the Cherries in his maiden Premier League season, as the 22-year-old has seven goals from 19 league starts and four substitute appearances. He doesn’t have that much of a say in general play though, averaging just 0.6 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per game.
Meanwhile, Grujic has made 20 Bundesliga starts, scoring three goals and assisting one. In addition to that, the 23-year-old averages 1.4 tackles, 2.3 clearances and 1.4 dribbles per game.
This is certainly not enough to get either player into Klopp’s starting XI, considering the quality that they would be directly competing with for places.
However, there may be a chance that they could become good squad players to come off the bench and play in the cups – though having tasted regular football, it is unclear whether either player would be willing to accept that.
From Liverpool’s viewpoint, it was suggested in the podcast that they may be able to get £20m for Wilson and £15-20m for Grujic, so they could be tempted to cash in and reinvest the funds raised into a higher profile player.