Why £20m Rated Liverpool Loanee Could Be Key For Hull City In Their Relegation Battle

Lazar Markovic’s struggles in the Premier League are well-documented. The Serbian joined Liverpool for £20 million in the summer of 2014, from Portuguese outfit SL Benfica but failed to live up the billing and the transfer fee under then-manager Brendan Rodgers. Markovic could just muster up 3 goals and a sole assist from 34 appearances across all competitions and as a result was drawn under heavy criticism for his ineffective displays.

Post his debut season blues, the 22-year old was shipped out on loan to Turkish club Fenerbahce for the 2015/16 season, where another underwhelming term ensued. Markovic struggled with the Yellow Canaries and could just manage 2 goals and 3 assists from 21 games, finding it hard to break into the first-team regularly.

However, there were renewed hopes for Markovic to revive his career at Anfield ahead of this season with a change in management. But new manager Jurgen Klopp deemed him surplus to requirements once again and as a result, he ended up back in Portugal with Sporting CP, where he could make only 14 appearances till January, scoring just twice, before returning to England where he joined up with relegation threatened Hull City.

The Tigers have been languishing in the drop zone after a strong start under previous manager Mike Phelan, which saw the former Manchester United assistant given the sack. Under new boss Marco Silva, Hull have managed to spark some sort of revival and have shown signs of marked improvement, but still find them in the 19th place, a point below the safety zone.

And one of the reasons for this signs of life at the KCOM Arena has been the recruitment in the winter transfer window. The new recruits by the manager have made a good impact and one among them who has shown great attacking intent in the final-third has been loanee Markovic.

Having sold their best players Robert Snodgrass to West Ham United and Jake Livermore to West Bromwich Albion in the January window, the Tigers were expected to struggle further, but Markovic, Oumar Niasse, Evandro and co., have managed to arrest the slide to some extent.

The Serbian may have played just four times for Hull so far since joining in the winter window, but has given a very good account of himself so far. His pace and direct running has been a nice addition to the Tigers attack. He put in a fine display in the goalless draw against Manchester United at the start of the month and almost sealed the three points with a late effort that hit the post. He put in another strong showing against Arsenal in the Tigers’ 2-0 loss at the Emirates and was their best player on the day.

In the brief period at the KCOM Arena that the Serb has spent, Markovic has shown that he can fill the void left by Snodgrass and can turn out to be a crucial player for the Tigers, if given a constant run in the side. With Crystal Palace and Leicester City struggling as well along with the likes of Sunderland and Middlesbrough, the battle for relegation has never been this close. Markovic may have not scored or assisted a goal yet, but has done enough in recent weeks to prove that he could be a key cog for Silva and Hull City as they fight to stave off the drop to the Championship.

Written by Raghavendra Goudar

Mechanical Engineer, avid reader and a football fanatic.

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