The one thing that pisses me off about some Liverpool fans is how quickly they write off some players, especially the younger players that are currently at the club. I remember reading some fans saying Emre Can was a waste of money, same with Mamadou Sakho and Phillipe Coutinho when they first came to the club and look at how they have proven those doubting fans wrong. One player who is currently getting that treatment from Liverpool fans is Serbian winger Lazar Markovic. Anyone who has read my pieces in the past on @AnfieldIndex and @TheNigInterest will know how much of a fan I am of Markovic. I was one of a few fans who had actually seen him in action before he joined Liverpool and I will admit I did wee myself just a little bit when I saw him getting touched up by Dr Zaff a few years ago.
Unfortunately for Markovic he came to Liverpool a season too late, he came to the club when Liverpool fans had massive expectations and we’re hopeful of winning a league championship after going so agonisingly close in the 2012/2013 season. I fully believe with Markovic in the side with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge Liverpool would have gone on to win the league, slip or no slip.
As it happened Markovic arrived at Liverpool to an injured Daniel Sturridge, a somewhat lazy Mario Ballotelli and a manager in Brendan Rodgers who in his infinite wisdom thought his best position was at wing back. Come on even my 6 year old knows Markovic was a winger and not a bleeding wing back. Because of this and Markovic not performing to the best of his ability in an unfamiliar role, some fans wrote him off. Imagine writing one of Europe’s most exciting wingers off after one season. Let’s not forget Markovic, when he came to Liverpool came to a new county, was only a young fella and had Brendan Rodgers as his manager.
I was highly annoyed at the start of last season when after selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for £49 million, Markovic was sent out on loan. What was Rodgers thinking? I was fearful that Rodgers was going to ruin a young players career before it ever took off by destroying his confidence. Last season at Fenerbahce Markovic played 14 games. He created 14 chances, had a pass accuracy of 74% and a shot accuracy of 33%. He won 47% of his average duels. Unfortunately for him he didn’t score any goals. From the above stats you would imagine that Markovic’s time at Liverpool is over but last season he was hit with a number of injuries. Let’s compare that to his time at Liverpool in 2014, Markovic played 19 Premier League game, scoring 2 goals, he created 19 chances, won 46% of his duels, his shot accuracy was a measly 23% but his average pass accuracy was 81%.
Imagine labelling him a poor player with stats like that. If anyone can get the best from Markovic it’s Jürgen Klopp. Markovic is the ultimate Klopp player, a player who isn’t afraid to run at players, who isn’t afraid to shot and With Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Sadio Mané, Liverpool’s attacking line up is frightening. Given a run in the team I truely believe he can score 10 or more goals and give the same amount of assists. But he needs time, time to readapt to the Premier League and adapt to the Klopp way of playing and when this happens mark my words he will be a joy to watch.