In an alternative reality, Brendan Rodgers might have gone down in the history books as one of Liverpool’s most successful managers. If Steven Gerrard hadn’t made that infamous slip against Chelsea while the club were chasing their first league title since 1990, and first ever Premier League crown, his legacy might have been totally different.
In reality, however, the 2013/2014 season was the only campaign that he really challenged for a major prize, and his reign was filled with abject performances and a raft of poor signings, with one particularly pricey move trumping the rest as arguably the worst…
Following Liverpool’s near miss in 2013/2014, Rodgers aimed to strengthen the team so he could mount another serious title challenge and although Luis Suarez joined Barcelona for £75m, he used these funds to bring in a few fresh faces.
Lazar Markovic was one of these signings, brought to Anfield from Benfica for a fee of £20m, with Andy Brassell describing him as a “rare talent” following the move, it seemed like Rodgers had gotten Liverpool a bargain.
Fast forward eight years and Markovic is turning out for Gaziantep FK in Turkey as the move turned out to be a disaster for Rodgers.
In total, the winger made only 34 appearances for Liverpool, scoring three times and registering only one assist as the club struggled to replicate their title challenge from the season before, finishing in sixth place.
Markovic cost Liverpool £588k-per-appearance, a staggering amount considering his return product was extremely poor, and if you break that down into Premier League goals, the ratio works out at just over £6.5m per goal.
He arrived a young talent ready to take England by storm and left with his tail between his legs, with loan spells at Fenerbahce, Sporting Lisbon, Hull City, and Anderlecht all following his solitary campaign at Anfield.
Rodgers was gone in October 2015 to be replaced by Jurgen Klopp and slowly but steadily, he brought them back to the summit of the English game.
Thankfully, the German is much more diligent when it comes to the transfer market, and blunders such as Markovic have become few and far between since he began his tenure at the club.