The signing of Thiago Alcantara resulted in a £10 million transfer loss for Liverpool, which they do not regret.

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The signing of Thiago Alcantara resulted in a £10 million transfer loss for Liverpool, which they do not regret.

Marko Grujic’s Liverpool career was full of what-if scenarios.

What if he’d been given more chances to play for the Reds?

What if Jurgen Klopp’s side hadn’t gone on to reach the Champions League final before going on to win the European Cup and Premier League while he was on loan?

What if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t wreaked havoc on his Reds career’s last 18 months?

After becoming Klopp’s first signing for £5.1 million in January 2016, Liverpool doubled their money when selling the Serbian on a permanent basis for £10.5 million in the summer, with the 25-year-old joining Porto, but it was still a bargain compared to the £20 million he could have commanded pre-pandemic.

It says a lot about the current situation of the transfer market that he brought in Xherdan Shaqiri, a two-time European champion, but Harry Wilson, who has only made two appearances.

That’s without taking into account the fact that he was a regular in the Champions League while on loan with his new club before making the move to the Estadio do Dragao permanent.

However, he has struggled for game time this season, making only four starts, and was, rather predictably, on the bench when he returned to Anfield on Wednesday night.

Given the fact that the Reds are already through and their midfield injury issue in recent weeks, it is perhaps ironic that it came on a night when, if still a Liverpool player, he may well have found himself starting.

In the current circumstances, he would almost certainly have played games if he had been kept.

Klopp’s challenge today is to identify possibilities who can stay injury-free rather than additional bodies to cover for current frailties, so hoarding players on the off-chance they might be needed is pointless.

With only 16 games and three years on loan, fans didn’t get enough of Grujic during his four and a half years on Merseyside to fully judge him or work out if he might have ever been the answer.

Despite this, he was always a source of interest. “The summary has come to an end.”

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