£20m Lazar Markovic may go the way of Milan Jovanovic at Liverpool

Anfield Night

The Serbian international is a luxury player, a habit which must be broken out of him if Liverpool are to make a return on their investment.

This summer Liverpool went on a spending spree. In a bid to offset the loss of Luis Suarez and to improve their squad depth ahead of a Champions League campaign they spent plenty of money on the likes of Mario Balotelli, Alberto Moreno and the trio from Southampton.

They also snapped up Lazar Markovic for around £20 million. Benfica had the final say on the deal, despite 40 per cent of his economic rights belonging to a third party, but they accepted the move cashing in around £12.5 million on the young Serbian talent.

Liverpool fans are now starting to see why.

Markovic is undoubtedly full of talent. He has all the potential to be a world beater. The issue is, he never will be.

At Benfica, despite the odd moment of promise, he soon tailed off. Many fans became frustrated with his performances and soon enough he was not a regular feature for the club. They were more than happy to cash in on him after just one year. Benfica are notoriously tough negotiators. On this one, they just let Liverpool have him.

He shares many similarities with another former Serbian talent at Liverpool. One fans would rather forget. Milan Jovanovic joined Liverpool in 2010 after starring in the Belgian league for Standard Liege. His year at Liverpool was forgettable and he was swiftly sold to Anderlecht the next summer.

Of course there is nine years between the pair when they arrived at Liverpool, the latter by far the elder.

But as a youngster is where the comparisons are similar. He was a sensation at Vojvodina in his homeland. He then made disastrous moves to Shakhtar Donetsk and Lokomotiv Moscow, where he simply failed to live up to expectation.

He, like Markovic, was a luxury player. Systems must be built around him. He is not going to play the pressing game Rodgers wants, unless he wants to. He simply is not a Liverpool player, just like Jovanovic.

Of course he does have one thing on his side. Age. Markovic is just 20-years-old and hopefully will mature in time to be a success at Liverpool. But given what history has taught us about players of Markovic's ilk - don't bet on it.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch