By Alex Taylor

Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic has targeted his physique and defensive work as key areas to improve in his quest for a first-team place.

Grujic, 20, joined Liverpool for £5million and made his debut for the club in their 2-0 loss to Burnley in August.

The Serbian faces a battle to impress manager Jurgen Klopp and currently sits behind  Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can in the pecking order.

As a result the youngster has been putting in the hours in the gym in order to boost his first-team chances.

“Everyone knows that the Premier League is of the highest standard. It’s very fast, very physical, especially for young players,” Grujic told the Liverpool Echo.

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“The key thing is that I continue to work in the gym, to work on the physical side of my game.

“The coach here wants me to do more in defence. He has said that. I am trying to work on those kind of things, and adapting to those demands.

“I have been focusing on that with our coaching staff at Melwood. I am always in the gym before training, doing some special exercises. I know how important that is.”

Grujic has played in 48 matches scoring eight goals and providing seven assists throughout his short career.

Despite his age, the midfielder has already won the Serbian SuperLiga with previous club Red Star Belgrade and the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The former Kolubara loanee featured for the Reds against Derby on Tuesday and will be hoping to have caught Klopp’s eye with his display.

Liverpool have won four of their last five games in all competitions and will be looking to carry that form into Saturday’s clash with Hull at Anfield.

In other Liverpool news, Klopp could not conceal his delight after big guns Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea were also handed tricky League Cup ties.