Lazar Markovic, a product of the golden-era of Serbian football, slumped at Liverpool in the most spectacular of ways.
If you looked up ‘flop’ in the dictionary you would likely find the definition: “player who failed to fulfil touted potential,” followed by an example sentence including Lazar Markovic and Liverpool.
Indeed, the winger’s incredulous performances at Anfield have become a topic of conversation amongst those fans ranking the worst signings in recent memory: an infamous list including the likes of Ricky Lambert, Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam, Steward Downing, El Hadji Diouf, Cristian Benteke, Paul Konchesky and Alberto Aquilani.
Signed for £20 million from Portuguese giants Benfica, Markovic had done relatively well the season before, helping the side secure the domestic treble and reach the Europa League final.
“I hope that I will fulfil the expectations of the supporters, coaches, players and all connected to the club,” he told Liverpool’s official website at the time of signing.
A man of few words, and even fewer talents it would seem.
For all his optimism and ‘talent’ Markovic failed to meet the loft expectation set by his relatively large transfer fee, and after making just 34 appearances, mainly under the soon to be sacked Brendan Rodgers, he was swiftly isolated from the squad by Jurgen Klopp.
The Serbia international made his last appearance in the senior team playing against Queens Park Rangers in May 2015 and spent has spent the best part of his career in England on loan.
Fenerbahce were the first to suffer his services, before Sporting Lisbon controversially took him under their wing. Fortunately, however, Markovic, all too aware of the Lisbon rivalry, sabotaged his new side’s chances with half a season’s worth of abominably average performances.
Hull City were next and ultimately suffered relegation the same year; whether that was fundamentally down the Markovic’s lacklustre efforts remains to be seen, but we have our suspicions.
Anderlecht had a chance to end the Serbian’s misery and were close to signing him on a permanent basis, but he refused – much to everyone’s dismay – and returned to Liverpool to see out his days a disgraced flop.
The nightmare finally ended in January when he joined doomed side Fulham on a free.
In total it cost Liverpool a staggering £10 million per Premier League goal, £1.05 million per Premier League appearance, £6.67 million per Liverpool goal and £588,000 per appearances (calculations provided by Liverpool Echo).
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