Early in the summer, Lazar Markovic blocked a loan deal that would have seen him return to Portugal to reunite with manager Jorge Jesus at Sporting CP. Instead, the young winger decided that he was determined to prove his worth and resurrect his career in England.
That attempt ended in failure, though for a time a permanent move to Newcastle United appeared possible. When it fell through, though, and facing a season in the reserves at Liverpool, Markovic had a change of heart and agreed to a late move back to Portugal.
Following a deadline day scramble, Markovic will now reunite with the manager he had perhaps the best season of his career with at Benfica before both moved on—Markovic heading to Liverpool and Jesus to Sporting. The hope now will be that a reunion will spark a return to form for him.
The 22-year-old winger arrived at Liverpool for £20M two seasons ago full of promise, but injuries and an underwhelming return both in England and while on loan last season with Fenerbahce saw the youngster moving backwards at what should be a key stage in his career.
As a result, Liverpool were prepared to sell Markovic for £16M this summer. However, with three years still to go on his contract, the club were also open to a loan and to reevaluating his situation in a year’s time. What they didn’t want to do was keep him to play with the reserves.
Now, they have at least escaped that fate. As has Markovic, who desperately needs first team football to get his career back on track and who will now get to spend another season in Portugal with Jorge Jesus to prove he can still come good on his considerable promise.