28 Aug 2015

Terms Agreed: Liverpool negotiating late transfer for 'excellent' £20m attacker. Done deal this week?

On the day Liverpool signed Lazar Markovic, I wrote the following in an article about the transfer: "If Rodgers goes ahead with this deal, it will be one of his biggest transfer gambles, and if it fails, he will deserve the tsunami of criticism that will inevitably come his way". Anyone with any sense could see that Markovic wasn't worth £20m; his poor goals/assists history at Benfica was a giant red flag, but Rodgers still went ahead and wasted the money. Well, quelle surprise, Markovic is now surplus to requirements, and is on the verge of being farmed out on loan.

According to The Guardian today:

"Lazar Markovic is to join Fenerbahce on a season-long loan. Liverpool have agreed terms with the Turkish club...and the 21-year-old is close to finalising the move to Istanbul".

The Liverpool Echo adds:

"Markovic was at Melwood on Thursday before being informed that a deal was close. As long as his discussions go well, his loan switch will be confirmed".

Liverpool made nine signings during the 2014 transfer window, and Markovic will become fourth of that batch of players to leave the club (Total cost: £40m) which underlines (once again) how Rodgers got it horribly last summer.

This loan deal comes as absolutely no surprise to me. From the moment Liverpool were linked with Markovic, I (and many other fans) argued against the signing, and offered credible, statistically-based reasons why the Reds should steer clear.

As usual, I was accused of being 'negative' etc, but the proof is in the pudding: Markovic totally failed to make any impression at Anfield, and although Rodgers is partly to blame for that (playing him out of position, for example), the Serb never looked like making an impact.

The Guardian further claims:

"Liverpool believe Markovic does have the talent to succeed at Anfield [in the future]"

Good luck with that. Historically, players who go out on loan rarely return to Liverpool and become first-team regulars, and in recent times, Jordon Ibe is the only exception to this rule.

I just can't get over how Rodgers and the infernal transfer committee believed that Markovic was worth £20m. It's a scandalous waste of money, and it's doubtful that the club will make even half of that back when he's finally sold.

It's not just the money, it's the loss of utility. If Liverpool had spent the Markovic cash on an *experienced* player capable of scoring/creating goals on a regular basis, there's a strong chance the club might be in the Champions League right now. The same principle applies to the £20m wasted on Balotelli and Lambert.

On a related note: Markovic - hailed by Rodgers in pre-season for his 'excellent' finishing - is on a five year deal, so it could be Fabio Borini all over again. In the future, if Markovic doesn't want to leave, he can just wait it out and take home his salary every week, and there'll be nothing Liverpool can do about it.

Ultimately, it's pretty embarrassing: how many teams send a £20m player on loan after just one season?

Author: Jaimie K


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