4 Sept 2016

Ex-Red insists: Klopp got it wrong with 'fantastic' £20m Liverpool star and stunted his development

Despite having only one dedicated winger available, Liverpool pushed Lazar Markovic out on loan once again, but according to ex-Red Neil Mellor, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp made the wrong decision to palm the £20m winger off on Sporting Lisbon.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Mellor claimed

"I would've liked to see him [Markovic] stay. It’s difficult to see how he can develop [at Sporting Lisbon] just like it was difficult to see in Turkey last season. I’d have liked to have seen him tested in the Prem".

Markovic is injury prone, and playing in the Prem this season would be a good way of gauging whether he can thrive without picking up further injuries (unlikely). As such, a Prem loan only makes sense if Klopp plans to keep him in the long term.

If not, and the overarching plan is to sell Markovic next summer, then it's (arguably) better to send him to a club that's likely to buy him on a permanent basis. The Portuguese league is less physically intensive than the Prem so, in theory, it should be easier to stay fit.

That said, the same could be argued about Turkey, and Markovic still suffered several injuries in the Superliga last season.

It's still hard to believe that Liverpool paid £20m for Markovic as a 20-year old. Another massive transfer gamble that utterly failed to pay off.

^ Hailed as 'fantastic' by Jordan Henderson last season.

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