When Luis Alberto arrived for around £7M last summer, many Liverpool fans expected a player who would at least make an impact off the bench. Instead he managed only 12 appearances across all competitions, mostly coming off the bench late when games were already decided.
"At Liverpool, things are at a much higher level," he explained of what was at times a difficult first season in England. "With players like Luis Suarez, Coutinho, it was a little difficult for me to enter the dynamic of the group, as English football is completely different."
A season-long loan at Malaga will mean a chance to prove what he can do when given regular minutes. It will also be a chance to show what he learned spending a season training with a group of players and for a manager who took Liverpool to second after five years in the wilderness.
"This last year has been a little sweet and sour," he added, reflecting on his experience so far as a Liverpool player. "Hopefully here I’ll get to enjoy what I like doing most. But I really have learned a great deal. What I’ve learned there, I hope to offer Malaga."
It is believed that Alberto is still in manager Brendan Rodgers' long-term plans, and with the club embracing an approach that mirror's Chelsea's purchase of relatively pricey prospects with an eye to a few years down the road, that he's now heading to Malaga on loan shouldn't surprise anybody.
Now it's just a question of whether he can capitalise on his talents to become the star midfielder Liverpool were gambling on when they bought him.