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Marković Joins Fulham

Liverpool have parted ways with Lazar Marković who has joined Fulham on a free but permanent short-term deal, for the rest of the season.

The Serbian arrived in 2014 as part of an attempt by Brendan Rodgers and the infamous transfer committee to replace quality with quantity. He started well enough, deployed mostly in his favoured position on the right wing, and he was equally good as a wing-back during the brief, and for a while successful, 3-4-3 experiment in at the start of 2015.

However, as Rodgers abandoned it having been found out, Marković was demoted to the bench and acted as a makeshift right-back a few times with the manager reluctant to give Javi Manquillo his 20th appearance – which would have activated the club’s obligation to sign the Spaniard on a permanent deal.

With Raheem Sterling gone to Manchester City that summer, the team that was mostly fielded through the pre-season included Marković in the “number 10” role. It suited him well, and it was to be expected he would be given a more prominent role in 2015/16. However, he was surprisingly loaned out to Fenerbahce prior to the season’s start, and the Serbian media reported that a rift had arisen between him and Rodgers, with the Northern Irishman unwilling to promise not to deploy him at fullback again.

Having completed a season in Turkey, Marković failed to impress Jurgen Klopp the following summer and was shipped of to Sporting Lisbon, which proved a disastrous move. Liverpool had signed him from Benfica, Sporting’s fierce rivals, and his past was never forgiven by the fans. Tensions arose and his form plummeted heavily, and the loan was cancelled halfway through the season.

He was decent enough at Hull City in the spring of 2017 and the Tigers considered a permanent deal afterwards, but they wouldn’t meet Liverpool’s asking price and he stayed put until January last year, with absolutely no chance of featuring for the first team. Then he went to Anderlecht for the rest of the season, and the Belgian side were keen to make it permanent last summer. They had agreed a fee of just under £3 million, only for Marković to refuse the personal terms offered to him.

After so much trouble and toil, both the player and the club will be relieved to finally part ways, and it should be said that Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrović had a helping hand in getting the deal over the line.

Fulham said in their statement:

“Fulham received very good recommendations from Aleksandar Mitrović regarding the player.

“Markovic made his breakthrough at Partizan Belgrade where he was a teammate of Mitrović and named in the SuperLiga team of the season in each of his two full – and title-winning – campaigns in the first team.”

 

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