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Klopp Offers Markovic Lifeline

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With manager Jürgen Klopp highlighting the wing as a position of need, Lazar Markovic seems certain to be given a chance to impress when he returns to Liverpool in the summer.

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When everybody’s fit, Liverpool have five senior centre halves. When everybody’s fit, they have five players capable of leading the line in attack. In midfield, there is also a fair bit of depth when it comes to the attacking mids and shuttling, box-to-box players. There are a few places, though, where the squad is weak.

They have just one recognised senior holding player in Lucas Leiva. There’s just one senior fullback for each side and then Jon Flanagan, returning from a year on the sidelines. The thinnest position of all, though, might just be winger, where Liverpool have youngster Jordon Ibe and really nobody else that manager Jürgen Klopp can look to.

"We have enough strikers," the manager said when asked about his squad’s depth and composition at his pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie with Augsburg that sees Liverpool heading to Germany favourites. "There are five with Roberto [Firmino]. But not too many wingers, just a few ones with potential."

For those wondering where the club might to strengthen over the summer—especially with another centre half already secured, Schalke’s 24-year-old Cameroonian international Joel Matip—it’s a strong sign that winger will be high on Klopp’s wish list. For those wondering what the future holds for Lazar Markovic, it also seems a strong sign.

Reports last month claimed Fenerbahce offered to pay Liverpool the full £20M the club spent to bring Markovic to Anfield from Benfica only for Liverpool to turn them down. Put the two together, and it seems certain the 21-year-old winger will be given a chance to impress and earn himself a first team place when he returns over the summer.

"It always changes," added Klopp about the squad depth issues he’s had to deal with since joining Liverpool. "We went into the season with five centre halves and then at one stage we only seemed to have one and a half. It was like, who can we play? You prepare as much as is possible and just look for the highest quality players you can get."

Fenerbahce have already kicked off their Europa League Round of 32 tie, beating Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 on Tuesday. Markovic was unable to take part in the win as he is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.