20 Oct 2015

Better than Ibe? 'Excellent' £20m attacker admired by Klopp set for Liverpool transfer recall

Last season, £20m signing Lazar Markovic struggled to make an impact at Liverpool, and Brendan Rodgers' mismanagement is arguably the main reason for his failure to settle into the team. Markovic - who is now on loan at Fenerbahce - tacitly confirmed this a couple of months ago, but Jurgen Klopp has his way, the Serb's loan spell could be short-lived.

In September, Markovic - hailed by Rodgers in pre-season for his 'excellent' finishing - posted the following message on his twitter account:

"Liverpool didn’t send me away - I wanted to leave.”

It's hardly surprising Markovic wanted to leave:

* Repeatedly played out of position as a wing-back, and very rarely deployed in his best position.

* Unused substitute 14 times.

Markovic is just one of a long line of attacking players who've failed under Brendan Rodgers, with Coutinho and Sturridge the only forwards (to date) who have flourished under his fabled tutelage.

Liverpool reportedly believe that 'Markovic has the talent to succeed at Anfield', but if he gets regular game-time in Turkey, will he even want to come back?

He may not have a choice. According to the Liverpool Echo today:

"[Liverpool] have the option of cutting short [Markovic's] stay in Turkey. Jurgen Klopp is an admirer of Markovic and will consider recalling him in January".

Do Liverpool need Markovic? On a purely positional basis, the answer is arguably yes.

Ibe aside, the Reds have no dedicated wingers in the first-team squad, and with his speed and directness, Markovic is (in theory) a good fit for Klopp's 'full-throttle' approach to football.

Unlike Rodgers, Klopp seems to understand the importance of 'aces in their places' (especially at Dortmund), although he arguably played Coutinho out of position against Spurs (!)

The alternative is to spend big bucks on another winger during the January transfer window, but there's no point doing that without first trying to get value for money out of Markovic.

If Markovic performs, it'll be like having a brand new signing, though I'm not convinced that Klopp can get the best out of him.

Under Rodgers, Markovic spent much of his time pressing, defending, and tracking opposition players. How is that going to be any different under Klopp, who demands an even more intense approach to the game?

Author: Jaimie K


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