Lazar Markovic, one of the most exciting signings of last summer, has spent the first three-and-a-half months of the season playing on loan at Fenerbahce in the Turkish Super Lig. Sitting in second, only two points off the top spot, his side have been widely successful in the early period of the campaign.
An additional benefit of making his way from Merseyside to the Sukru Saracoglu in Istanbul has been the prospect of playing in Europe, via the Europa League.
Yet another near ideal situation for the club, they find themselves second in the group behind Norwegian side Molde FK in Group A, a mere two points from entering the knockout round in the top spot.
As for Markovic, his contribution has been one that hasn’t drawn a great deal of attention, but a few matches have stood out as very good performances from the Serbian winger.
With just one assist in seven appearances made, his offensive production has been lacking, to say the least. However, the late September match against Bursaspor, in which he bagged his lone assist, showcased his most prominent abilities, leading to acclaim from the Turkish media.
Pace with quality dribbling, as is typically expected from the young attacker, served as the main course for highlight feeds focusing on the quick-witted loanee. Bursting past Bursaspor’s full-backs on a multitude of occasions, he showed the potential that a (now disdained) Brendan Rodgers found so compelling when he was playing at Benfica.
In the Europa League, Markovic recently had yet another impressive performance in Fenerbahce’s 1-0 home victory against Ajax. Most notably, near the end of the first half, he struck a shot from about 30 yards out, forcing the keeper to make a full-stretch diving save to his right. Juxtaposed with his ambitious distribution along the right side of the attacking third, the almost full match appearance showed a faint sign of hope for a future at Liverpool after his loan spell.
Although his contributions haven’t been otherworldly to this point, there have been quite a few strides of progress made since joining the Turkish side at the end of the August window. Time will tell whether these improvements can be translated into the Premier League and the new managing style of Jurgen Klopp, but for now, a string of consistent performances is all that can be asked of the former Partizan Belgrade product.