The signing of Lazar Markovic to Liverpool was one which looked to satisfy the owner’s transfer strategy.
Whilst Liverpool could have approached a more proven winger, the Reds insisted on their method of signing players with resale value. But after three years as a Liverpool player, did the Reds make the right choice?
The Serbian winger arrived from Benfica for £20million in the summer of 2014. Even though Markovic was just 20, the former Partizan man had already won multiple league titles, as well as helping Benfica to the Europa League Final.
While looked to as one of Europe’s top young talents, just six goals in 25 appearances raised some concerns for Liverpool fans who were about to lose one of their best players in history, Luis Suarez.
I would definitely welcome back Markovic. Rodgers screwed up his confidence by playing him at right wingback. Deserves a second chance
— RajB (@bhand75) January 20, 2017
Lazar Markovic may not have been shining as bright as a Kylian Mbappe, but there was something about his ability which Brendan Rodgers thought he could develop. Frustratingly, it wasn’t long before the Serbian was being deployed as a wing-back. The Reds were hindering the development of a player who could potentially go on to be a top Premier League winger.
At just 20 years old, it was unlikely that an instant impact could be made. It’s not uncommon to see a younger player lacking consistency, as seen in previous seasons with Raheem Sterling. So could we say that Markovic has been given a fair chance? It would be unfair to judge him from his Liverpool career with the majority of his games coming from defence.
Both Liverpool and the manager should have believed in my ability.
I believe I should have played more than I did.
Lazar Markovic (2017)
When the Serbian was deployed in his more favoured position, he did at times, produce glimpses of a player who could make an impact in games. Since moving to Hull after a flurry of other loan moves, Marco Silva seems to be getting the best out of the former Lisbon man. With two goals and five chances created in 11 games, the stats may suggest that the on-loan Hull winger is somewhat of an average player, but it is other aspects of his game which are standing out.
Just watched Arsenal vs Hull
Markovic was superb. The lad has got something about him. Hope he is not finished at Liverpool
— Daksh Hassija (@Daksh_LFC) February 17, 2017
Rejuvenated – almost – in the Premier League, while playing for a fairly negative footballing side, Markovic has shown that he does have a future at Liverpool, even if that future is one more season to prove himself.
Too many times this season, Jurgen Klopp’s bench has been something which reflects a League Two side – countless youngsters with the most experienced player being Alberto Moreno. With the amount of injuries suffered this season, Lazar Markovic would have been a perfect fit for Klopp’s style. He may not be as productive as Sadio Mane, but in terms of pace and dribbling – he at least softens the loss of the star Senegalese man.
Markovic goal vs Watford.
Insting goalnya mulai terasah.
Tarik lagi ke Liverpool bisa untuk Alternative. pic.twitter.com/KxApuGWLhw
— LIVERPOOL INDONESIAN (@LFC_INDONESIAN) April 22, 2017
Unless at least three of the quartet of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana are available, which current Liverpool player can do a better job than Lazar Markovic? But not just that, there is a severe lack of pace within the Reds side without their Senegalese forward. Players like Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander Arnold have shown some potential, but neither are experienced as Markovic – it is those players that should be loaned out.
With European football of some degree on the cards for next season, it is almost vital that Lazar Markovic is given an opportunity to prove himself in a system where he could potentially flourish. Klopp is the perfect manager for Markovic – particularly in the utilisation of the Serbian’s pace – for both pressing and counter-attacking.
Whether it is as an impact or rotational player who plays the majority of cup games, there is no one better than the former Benfica man in Liverpool’s academy. The additional fixtures on the Reds list mean that their on-loan winger definitely has a part to play in the first team next season.