Lazar Markovic joins Hull City on loan, Sporting CP spell cancelled

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Lazar Markovic has seen his temporary spell with Sporting CP cancelled, with the Liverpool winger now joining Hull City on a six-month loan.

The Serbia international had struggled to establish himself with the Lisbon outfit, and with manager Jorge Jesus looking to streamline his squad, has returned to England.

With all parties reaching a mutual agreement on Monday, this has seen Markovic make an immediate switch to the KC Stadium, to join Marco Silva’s Tigers.

Hull are Markovic’s third loan club since joining Liverpool in a deal worth £20 million in 2014.

The 22-year-old has made just 34 appearances for the Reds, scoring three goals and assisting another, while he amassed 35 games, four goals and three assists combined on loan at Fenerbahce and Sporting.

Joining Hull presents Markovic with another test of his credentials, and one he arguably should have secured in the summer, rather than departing for a lower-level league.

Now he will battle relegation with Silva’s improving side, competing with the likes of Robert Snodgrass and Sam Clucas for a regular role out wide.

Hull have scored just 20 goals in 22 games in the Premier League so far this season, with only Middlesbrough scoring fewer (18), and Markovic will be earmarked as a solution to this problem.

During his lone season in the English top flight so far, Markovic showed flashes of quality, including a virtuoso display in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory away to Sunderland at the beginning of 2015.

But shoehorned into an unnatural wing-back position and struggling for consistency when deployed in a more advanced role, Markovic has struggled to prove his worth on Merseyside.

SANTA CLARA, USA - Saturday, July 30, 2016: Liverpool's Lazar Markovic in action against AC Milan during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day ten of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Levi's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This extended to pre-season under Klopp, with the No. 50’s displays in both domestic friendlies and on tour in the United States failing to convince his manager that he was worthy of a first-team role in 2016/17.

That this came despite the knowledge that Sadio Mane, the senior player most alike Markovic in Klopp’s squad, was set to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations this month is telling.

But moving to Hull does provide Markovic with the opportunity to prove he is capable of shining in the Premier League.

Doing so is unlikely to earn himself a long-term role at Anfield, but it could go a considerable length to restore a reputation that has suffered since he left Benfica two-and-a-half years ago.

Markovic is Liverpool’s fourth departure of the January transfer window, following Pedro Chirivella (Aston Villa, loan), Joe Maguire (Fleetwood Town, undisclosed) and Tiago Ilori (Reading, £3.75 million).

Mamadou Sakho and Brooks Lennon are both due to secure moves away from the club in the coming days, with little else expected this month.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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