It was always going to be likely that Liverpool’s January 2019 transfer window would be characterized more by outbound moves rather than reinforcements. One move that has seemingly been in the works for years now has been the permanent departure of Serbian winger Lazar Marković, whose contract with the club will finally run its course this summer.
There have been rumours of interest from China and elsewhere, but at this stage it’s increasingly unlikely that Liverpool will be able to recoup much if anything for a player who caused no small amount of excitement when he arrived from Benfica in 2014. Since then, there have been several loan spells across European football. Amazingly, the last time Marković featured for the first team in a competitive match was 2015.
Still, Liverpool appear to be trying to get something done. Marković featured for Neil Critchley’s U23 side (the player himself is still just 24 years old) in their Kirkby match against West Bromwich Albion this weekend. The winger did not get on the scoresheet, but did have perhaps one last opportunity to show what he can do alongside promising youngsters Curtis Jones and Matty Virtue.
It was not a great day for Critchley’s squad, as the Reds’ rhythm was interrupted by injuries to Liam Millar and Curtis Jones. West Brom was able to get off the mark first, and Liverpool laboured to impose themselves during the first half. The hosts showed more energy and purpose following the interval, and Virtue capitalized on a mistake from West Brom keeper Brad House to level things out.
For Marković, who played the entirety of the match, this was unlikely to be a performance to turn heads or set pulses quickening in scouting offices across Europe. If the Reds can extract anything meaningful from the remainder of Marković’s contract, Sporting Director Michael Edwards will have cemented his stature as a magician.