24 Oct 2015

Anfield Exit? Lawro slates £20m Liverpool star and urges Klopp to be 'harsh' and forget January recall

(Conflicting) reports this week suggest that Jurgen Klopp is considering a January recall for on-loan Liverpool attacker Lazar Markovic, but according to Reds legend Mark Lawrenson, bringing the Serb back to Anfield is a waste of time and money.

Earlier this week, Liverpool Echo claimed:

"[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".

In his column today for the Echo, Lawro explained why Markovic - hailed by Rodgers in pre-season for his 'excellent' finishing - has no future at Anfield:

"Markovic didn't do enough to convince he could make the grade at Anfield. You can only give a player so many chances. You have to be realistic and a touch harsh: How many times did he get to the byline and cross? Not many. So, how many did he score then? Not many".

Whilst it's fair to say that Markovic failed to consistently score/create goals last season, it's also true to say that Rodgers rarely played the Serb in his best position, and basically set him up to fail. Indeed, Markovic basically confirmed as much this week, when he told Portuguese newspaper A Bola:

"I didn’t have a good relationship with the coach. That was a problem. I played in many positions but didn’t play in mine.”

The question is, 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 concept of 'aces in their places', and he's proven this by playing Can as a central midfielder, and Lallana as a number-10. Granted, it's made no difference to either player's creative impact, but I digress...

The alternative to ending the loan early 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.

Right now, there's (arguably) no chance that Liverpool will make their money back, but if Markovic performs under Klopp, there will be a dual benefit:

* Liverpool will benefit on the field as it'll be like having a brand new signing at the club.

* Markovic will be in the shop window, and if he plays well, his value may rise, which may allow Liverpool to recoup a decent transfer fee.

To be honest, though, I'm not sure Klopp can get the best out of Markovic. The German demands even more physical/defensive effort than Rodgers, and that clearly isn't Markovic's strength.

Some players are just suited to a less physical league, and Markovic is probably better off in Portugal, or France.

Author: Jaimie K


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