Fans might be forgiven if they'd forgotten that Luis Alberto was still a Liverpool player. After a disappointing first season at Liverpool, the young Spaniard was loaned out to Malaga last year where he saw limited minutes. He barely had time to unpack his bags back at Liverpool over the summer before he headed off to Deportivo La Coruna.
Now, the attacking midfielder is back in Liverpool, returning to undergo treatment for a groin problem the Spanish club's doctors had failed to get to the bottom of. Alberto has played as recently as last weekend for Deportivo, but has been bothered by the injury off and on for a month now, and it was decided it was time for him to return to his parent club for treatment.
Once he has progressed to a stage in recovery that satisfies Liverpool's medical staff he will be returned to the La Liga club for the remainder of the season. His Liverpool future still appears to be very much in doubt, at least compared to fellow loanee Lazar Markovic, who has his own injury issues to contend with this week after he suffered his second hamstring strain of the season.
Fenerbahce report that Markovic is expected to miss a month of action. So far this year, the young winger has shown flashes of skill and speed but little end product for the Turkish side, appearing in six of their ten league matches to date and registering a single assist. Despite failing to set the Super Lig alight, there has been talk of Liverpool looking to bring him back in January.
However, to do so would require Liverpool and Fenerbahce to both agree to terminate his loan deal, something the Turkish club would likely demand a fee for—a fee likely to reach into multiple millions. Having already spent £20M on the player and with Markovic having looked promising but not yet the finished product in Turkey, Liverpool are reportedly reluctant to do this.
Some have talked up Markovic as a potential January solution to Liverpool's winger shortage, but the 21-year-old has only played in 31% of the available minutes in the Turkish league. He missed three previous games with an earlier hamstring injury. Even if he is unlikely to return to Liverpool in January, though, hopes are high the player can make a longer term impact at Anfield.