Arriving from Benfica for big money last season, there was a sense of expectation regarding young Lazar Markovic. He had solid experience for his age, fantastic hair, would fit the style of play, and had been on Chelsea's radar for a long time, the Londoners deciding not to exercise their right of first refusal in the end. After featuring in the club's difficult early run, showing glimpses of the pace, skill and instinctive passing the club signed him for without it ever culminating in great performances, he found himself on the bench our out of the squad for most of 2014, getting sent off in a weird incident when he got the chance in the club's final Champion's League game.
He came back into the team as results started to pick up, playing mostly as a wingback in Rodgers' 3-5-2, playing on both sides of the formation, and looked better as the new role provided him with more space. He scored a few goals. He had an assist. He had that shot off the bar. And then he was gone again, minutes drying up as Liverpool's 4th place dreams expired. All told, he only played 926 minutes in the Premier League, making 11 starts.
As the club started its pre-season this summer, it was with renewed hope for the young Serbian. His hair was an absolute mess, but he scored and generally looked excellent in a central role against the Thai All-Stars. Since then, he has been almost completely absent, a Swindon Town friendly notwithstanding. The writing has seemingly been on the wall.
And now, he is reportedly spending the season on loan at Fenerbahçe. The Turkish team boasts famous names like Robin van Persie, Simon Kjær, Diego and former Liverpool fan-favourite Raul Meireles. The club finished last season in second place and will be part of Friday's Europa League group stage draw, where they are seeded third and can absolutely end up being drawn in the same group as Liverpool.
There is supposedly still hope for young Lazars though, as the Echo reports that he is still in Rodgers' long-term plans, but that his development will benefit from playing time, playing time he won't be getting at LFC this season, as he's behind Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Jordon Ibe in the pecking order. Which is exactly what you'd say to prevent your player from dropping in value. Fans will be forgiven for taking a wait-and-see approach as to whether this turns out to be true.
Questioning the decision to send a talented young winger on loan is also completely fine. Although Liverpool seem overloaded with attacking midfielders, Jordon Ibe, despite his promising showing during the last campaign, has ranged from meh to downright terrible in his three appearances this season, and Lallana is injured again. It doesn't seem implausible to suggest that the club will find a need for Markovic as the fixtures start piling up.
Whatever turns out to be the case, speculation will be plentiful. Perhaps Markovic will improve his play sufficiently to prove he belongs in the Liverpool Brendan Rodgers is building. Or maybe this is the beginning of the end for the talented young winger at Liverpool. Regardless, he will get to hang out with and pick up style tips from this man, so it can't be all bad.
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