Hello, Liverpool fans. It's been six months since Steven Gerrard, your talisman for well over a decade, departed Anfield for the bright lights of Los Angeles. Have you got over it yet? We won't judge you if you haven't, but you should know that the men who decide the squad numbers at your beloved club certainly have.
Yes, there were calls for the No.8 shirt to be retired for good when Gerrard vacated it. But retiring numbers is not really the done thing in England, so it has been up for grabs since the summer.
Now, the vacancy is about to be filled, but not by who Liverpool fans might be expecting. Instead of giving it to club captain Jordan Henderson or fan favourite Mamadou Sakho, it will fall into the arms of a relatively unknown 19-year-old.
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That is, at least, according to Red Star's sporting director Zvezdan Terzic, who has claimed that their Merseyside-bound midfielder, Marko Grujic, is set to be handed Gerrard's famous No.8 shirt.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Grujic has put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal while the two clubs have agreed on a deal worth £5m. The midfielder will remain in Serbia for the remainder of the season on loan, but it appears Jurgen Klopp has already promised him the iconic shirt.
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"We will, in the next three days, sign a contract with Liverpool," Terzic said, according to ESPN. "Marko Grujic will sign a five-year contract with Liverpool where he will have a €1.2m annual net income, which means that he will have €6m from Liverpool.
"He'll get No.8 on the back."
The general reaction from fans on Twitter appears to suggest that Grujic is setting himself up for a whole load of pressure. Indeed, plenty of players have been weighed down by iconic shirt numbers in the past. Some are even going through it at the moment aren't they, Memphis Depay?
Compared to Gerrard
Liverpool fans worried about whether or not Grujic can live up to the shirt should know that he has already been compared to Gerrard for his box-to-box style of play. He has scored five league goals from midfield this season, including this 35-yard howitzer:
Take a look at his highlight reel below and decide whether you think he's worth Gerrard's No.8 shirt!
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