Lazar Markovic‘s season on loan with Fenerbahce could be over, with the Serbian struggling with a persistent hamstring injury at the end of 2015/16.
Markovic joined Fenerbahce on a season-long loan at the end of August, but has endured an injury-riddled campaign in Istanbul.
The 22-year-old has made 20 appearances for the Turkish side, scoring two goals and assisting on a further three, as his progress away from Merseyside has continued to stall.
This season, Markovic has suffered a number of niggling hamstring injuries, with his latest keeping him out of the last six Super Lig games.
According to reports from Turkish publication Millyet, Fenerbahce have taken precaution with Markovic’s recovery, and are unlikely to utilise a player who relies on his pace and power again this season, after such an extensive layoff.
Markovic has been treated in Turkey, England and now in Portugal, with no breakthrough in his recovery so far.
Spending time at FC Porto as part of his treatment, Markovic is working to prevent further injuries to the same hamstring.
This is something that could prove encouraging to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who is set to welcome Markovic back into his squad for 2016/17.
Markovic’s move to Fenerbahce was a bemusing one for many Reds supporters, with the Serbia international’s exile under Brendan Rodgers deemed unjust.
At just 20, and with a £20 million price tag on his shoulders, Markovic struggled to impose himself in his first season with Liverpool in 2014/15, but showed signs of progress throughout.
The ex-Benfica man’s blend of pace, bursting energy and off-ball work rate could see him slot into Klopp’s attacking system quickly.
In February, Klopp revealed he was looking to strengthen his flanks this summer, saying “we have enough strikers—five with Roberto [Firmino]—but not too many wingers, just a few young ones with great potential.”
Markovic could provide the German with a solution, while summer target Mario Gotze would added further, proven quality in the wide areas.
But both manager and player will be hoping this setback doesn’t prove costly, as Markovic will now be forced to catch up on his recovery—setting out another major challenge for the winger.