lazar markovic

Liverpool FC: Three Reasons Why The Young Serb Is Yet To Deliver

Tough Beginnings for Liverpool’s Young Serb but will he turn out to be a Luis Garcia or an Albert Reira ?

Much was expected of 20 year old Lazar Markovic when Benfica let go of the Serbian speedster this summer transfer window after Liverpool met the release clause in his contract. The young Serb who was courted by the likes of Chelsea, Juventus previously was quickly snapped up by Rodgers’ as he looked to build on the exploits of the season before. The former Partizan attacker was expected to add to the already existing pace battery at Anfield adding another dimension to their play. And if the early signs were anything to go by, it all looked to be going very well for both player and club.

An exciting appearance in Liverpool’s pre-season tournament against Olympiakos in the United States of America gave Lazar the opportunity to showcase his talents. What the Reds fans saw, they liked. A direct winger/attacker who loves running at defenders possessing bags of pace and a sharp eye for a pass. However having picked up an unfortunate injury soon after, the young Serbs projected progression into the Reds squad was halted. Although even on his return in the brief cameo at the Etihad, the pacey attacker showed some delightful touches along with some very incisive play. The signs for a bright future were all there, then what went wrong for the former Benfica and FK Partizan Player of the Year?

Confidence

Having returned from injury in the 1-3 loss away to champions Manchester City, Markovic then came on as a second half substitute in the Reds away victory against a stuttering Spurs. The young Serb started his first Premier League game against a stubborn, rigid and physical Aston Villa side who simply would not budge. A grave loss in confidence for the Serbian as he was substituted on his first home start after having been completely ineffective. And from there things started going downhill for Markovic. Tough game after tough game and the 20 year old kept looking completely off the pace and overawed by the physicality of the Premier League. Decision making started going awry and occasions where the Serb should’ve seized the chance by getting a shot off on his own he opted to pass. Clearly a result of lack of confidence in a new league.

Physicality

After being shut out by Allan Hutton on his first home start for Liverpool against Aston Villa, Markovic never seemed to have recovered to match the physical challenges of the league. Often out-muscled easily off the ball, Lazar has struggled with the robust nature of the English game. Understandably it does take time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League, Lazar does have time of his side to turn things around.

Technicality

Its taken for granted that a professional footballer needs to be technically sound and comfortable adapting to the needs of the game. While Lazar is a technically sound player, the lad seems to be very one-footed. The Serbian is comfortable playing anywhere across the front 3 but one glaring flaw in his game is the fact that for all the pace and quality he possesses, Markovic is a very one footed player – a very right footed player. The effects of his loss in confidence has also affected his first touch which has let him down on occasions more than once.

The acquisition of the Lazar Markovic was greeted with a lot of fan-fare on Merseyside and with fair reason behind it too. However, as newspapers and statements revealed a while later that the Serb wasn’t exactly first choice for Rodgers. The Northern Irishman initially had his sights set on Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri, only for the German giants to turn down any Anfield interest.

Having said that, at the age of 20 – the Serb has got time on his side and while the quality was never in question, its only a matter of time before the former Benfica Player of the Season takes the stage for Liverpool.