Liverpool winger Milan Jovanovic was quoted yesterday as saying he has been given permission by the Reds to speak to other clubs:
“I got the paper from Liverpool that I am free to search for a new club. Up to now, I still haven’t received an official offer from Olympiakos, but I am looking forward to hearing their plans.”
The Serbian’s stay at Anfield has been a very brief one indeed, and even though it has to be said that it was expected considering how he failed to establish himself in the team, there was a lot of optimism last summer over the player’s arrival.
The move for the Standard Liege forward was tied up before Rafa Benitez’s departure from the club, and this inevitably meant that the Serbian’s settling in period to English football was going to be even harder that he could have imagined.
A new country, a new league and a new manager were all obstacles to Jovanovic being a success on Merseyside and it proved an insurmountable task for the 30 year old. As if said, Jova’s arrival in the summer was met with a good deal optimism by Reds fans. Although not many had seen him play in Belgian football, his displays in the World Cup, especially against Germany, meant that there was some confidence that he had the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.
It became obvious very quickly though that Jovanovic was not going to fit in on Merseyside. Bought by Rafa Benitez, who would have been aware that his prime position was as a striker, and secondarily as a winger, new manager Roy Hodgson primarily saw him as a winger rather than as a striker.
As it inevitably turned out, Jovanovic would struggle to fit in to the 4-4-2 system adopted by Hodgson. He showed some of his quality in front of goal with a well taken goal which was overshadowed by the disastrous League Cup exit to Northampton, but that seemed to be it for the Serb. He was progressively sidelined by Hodgson as the months wore on.
Still there was hope when new manager Kenny Dalglish came in January, and the Serb was picked to start in King Kenny’s first league match against Blackpool, but he quickly fell out of favour again. Still being picked as a winger rather than a striker, Jovanovic tended to run into dead ends, despite having a good deal of pace and dribbling ability.
The fact he didn’t convince either Hodgson or Dalglish of his merits to the side means he has been denoted to be “dead-wood” by Reds fans and journalists. He must be wondering what might have been if Rafa Benitez had stayed but even then there was no guaranteed of success. He will go down as another one of those Bosman flops the Reds have been accustomed to in recent years.
Read more of David’s articles at Live4Liverpool