Speaking to the press ahead of Liverpool's Premier League game with Newcastle, Rodgers insisted:
"We brought young Markovic in for the longer term. We have confidence he will become a big player for us".
Hmmm. Rodgers said the same thing about Tiago Ilori and Luis Alberto, and look where they are now. The major difference is, however, that neither of those players cost £20m.
Rodgers has also contradicted himself somewhat. When discussing his transfer strategy over the summer, he told reporters:
“Last summer...it was difficult for us to bring in starters. This year...those players coming in need to be capable starters. They have to be to the level that we require to perform”
If Rodgers spends £20m on a player, then it's totally fair to expect that player to make some kind of contribution to the team. Based on Rodgers' comments, it's also fair to assume that he signed Markovic because he believed he'd be a 'capable starter' for LFC.
Predictiably, Rodgers has now changed his tune, and is basically arguing that Markovic is *not* a capable starter, and little should be expected of him until some undetermined point in the future. Well, in my view, this is an unacceptable excuse.
Rodgers knew the importance of building on last season, and instead of spending that £20m on a player 'capable' of making a much-needed impact straight away, he wasted it on Markovic, a player John Aldridge recently described (correctly) as a 'passenger' at LFC.
How many times is Rodgers going to make these mistakes in the transfer market? Calling Markovic a 'waste' of money may not sit will with some LFC fans, but that is the harsh truth right now. At this moment, Liverpool have received zero benefit for that £20m outlay, and that makes it a waste of money. It all boils down to a concept I call 'loss of utility':
* If Rodgers had spent that £20m on the right player, he would be contributing to the cause right now in the form of vital goals/assists.
* Instead, Rodgers bought the wrong player. Consequently, Liverpool have lost the benefit of having the right player in the team.
* The loss of utility becomes more acute the longer Markovic fails to contribute.
* The same concept applies to players like Borini, Aspas, Alberto, Sakho, Moses, Assaidi, Ilori etc. None of these players have made any significant impact at Anfield. Just imagine the benefits to the club if Rodgers had signed the right players...
Every club makes transfer mistakes, and the loss of utility concept applies across the board. However, with Liverpool, the errors are the rule, not the exception, and that is a major ongoing concern. Additionally, wasting transfer funds like this just leads to further expense.
For example, if Markovic, Lallana et al keep failing to consistently contribute, then Liverpool will be forced to spend big bucks on another couple of attacking midfielders, and with Rodgers' record in the transfer market, the cycle of failure will probably continue.
Bottom line: Liverpool should not (IMO) be spending £20m on players 'for the longer term'. When there's so much at stake, that kind of money should only be spent on players capable of making an immediate impact on the team.
Author: Jaimie K