When Lazar Markovic left Benfica for Liverpool for a reported £20million, Reds fans will have eagerly awaited the player’s first appearance for the Reds.
Here was one of Europe’s most highly-rated youngsters; a 20-year-old with innate talent and the confidence to go with it and a player who had helped the Portuguese club reclaim the Primeira Liga title just a few months earlier.
The problem is, when Markovic took his first tenatiative steps at Liverpool, he did not look like a £20million player, and people quickly branded him a flop.
It was far too soon to make a judgement, but such things are part and parcel of the game and Markovic saw his confidence and his performance levels drop further when faced with the pressure of helping a faltering Liverpool side back up the table.
That was until last week, when a sparkling performance against Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup showed the young Serbian international in all his glory.
His manager Brendan Rodgers later hailed him as “brilliant” in comments published by the Liverpool Echo.
“At 20 years of age, it looks like he is improving all the time,” the Liverpool boss added, and for that very reason the condemnation of his early performances was wrong.
Markovic was always going to take time to settle into a new country and when you consider his tender age that settling-in period would only have been amplified.
The winger is one of the most gifted young players in the game and a few dodgy games for Liverpool does not change that.
So it is time to stop complaining when he does not have the best of games. When Mario Balotelli or Dejan Lovren have a ‘mare, that is one thing, but they are experienced players who are familiar with the Premier League.
This is all new to Markovic, so cut him some slack and revel in the fact that Liverpool possess a sparkling talent who is only going to get better.