Liverpool sell Marko Grujic and Taiwo Awoniyi
A report by the BBC confirms that Liverpool have sold Marko Grujic and Taiwo Awoniyi in permanent deals. The Serbian midfielder joined FC Porto for a £10.5m fee while the Nigerian striker brought £6.5m in transfer fees to Liverpool’s coffers. The club added a 10% sell-on clause in both deals which could benefit them in the future.
In total, the two players brought in a combined £17m to the Reds’ transfer kitty. Grujic was out on loan at Porto last season while Awoniyi plied his trade in Germany at Union Berlin. But in a transfer window where the Reds would want to strengthen their team, was the idea of selling two players in such quick succession a good one by the Liverpool chiefs?
Liverpool had no real use for Grujic and Awoniyi
Grujic was signed by the club in January 2016 for a £5.1m fee, making him the first signing of the Jurgen Klopp era at Liverpool. But things went awry as seasons passed, and the Serbian failed to make an impression at Anfield. A loan spell at Cardiff City was then followed by two successive temporary moves to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga.
And last season, he spent time in Porto. During his time at the Merseyside, Grujic mustered just 5 starts under Klopp. That, by no means, is a statistic any party would have hoped when the Reds shook hands with Red Star Belgrade more than 5 years back. But as it turns out, he was surplus to requirements and his sale comes at no real expense to Liverpool’s first-team set-up.
The Reds saw Georginio Wijnaldum leave the club for PSG in the summer. But despite that, Grujic’s recurrent loan spells were evidence enough that the 25-year-old had no place in Klopp’s starting line-up. Apart from Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Thiago Alcantara, the Reds have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, James Milner, and Curtis Jones.
In summary, if there are no real injury issues, the Reds will be just fine without Grujic in their roster for this season. The story with Awoniyi was different. The imposing Nigerian striker was signed by the club in 2015 but failure to get a work permit until May 2021 hampered any progress he could make at the club and has left without making a single appearance for Klopp’s side.
Welcome funds for LFC
Awoniyi, at 23, was consistently loaned out and spent his time at FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Excel Mouscron, Gent, Mainz 05, and Union Berlin respectively. Without any real experience in England, it was unlikely he would have ever competed with Roberto Firmino or even Diogo Jota for a starting spot in the number 9 position.
In fact, the funds the Reds have secured are pretty timely. That is because according to the Express, it is believed that the 2019 UEFA Champions League winners would need to sell before they can buy. In that regard, any money that comes in from sales can then be used for bringing in new faces. And it’s not like the Reds don’t have targets in mind.
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As per a report by The Athletic (Subcription Required), Liverpool have been linked with names such as John McGinn, Saul Niguez, and Youri Tielemans during the summer. It remains to be seen who Michael Edwards brings in before the deadline but if there is another signing in store for Liverpool, the funds generated from the sale of Grujic and Awoiniyi could play a big role.