Liverpool's injury crisis has gone from bad to worse since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp, amidst a time when the Reds' fortunes were meant to be on the rise.
With captain Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Jon Flanagan, Christian Benteke and Dejan Lovren already on the treatment table and Liverpool floundering in mid-table, the German's task started as a difficult one.
However, in recent days, the Merseyside outfit have been dealt further injury blows involving Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez and Jordan Rossiter, with Ings and Gomes likely to be out for the season due to cruciate ligament damage.
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With so many strikers currently injured, Liverpool fans have been calling for big-money signings in January. The electric talents of Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus have been high on the fans’ wishlist due to their relations with Klopp.
Both are likely to cost Liverpool upwards of £30 million, though, which raises issues not just of their transfer budget, likely to have been depleted by the free-spending Brendan Rodgers, but also whether the Reds are capable of attracting such high-profile stars.
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Klopp might have to look elsewhere, then, and may well look towards recalling one of the 15 players that Liverpool currently have out on loan.
The obvious choice would be Mario Balotelli. The mercurial bad-boy has endured a mixed start at AC Milan, but he is also injured and appears to have burned all bridges with the Liverpool hierarchy - a return remains highly unlikely.
The best option, therefore, would be Lazar Markovic, currently at Fenerbache and putting in some great performances in the Turkish League.
Whilst the 21-year-old might not be instantly considered sufficient back up to their first choice strikers, Liverpool fans should remember when he arrived at Liverpool he was an out-and-out attacking winger.
Prior to his move, Benfica deployed Markovic inside the channels, buzzing around the striker in a Messi-esque role.
However, Markovic spent almost all of his first season played out of position, forced into a wing-back role due to Rodgers’ inclining to play three centre-backs in an attempt to hide his defensive weaknesses.
The Serbian was clearly not suited to the role and was swiftly replaced by yet another attacking winger in Jordon Ibe.
Markovic will likely relish the opportunity to return to Liverpool and prove himself under renowned man-manager Klopp after a stuttering first season under Rodgers.
Indeed, Klopp has indicated already that he is tempted by the prospect of bringing Markovic back to Merseyside as early as January - and he might well be exactly what Liverpool need to implement Klopp’s famed “Gegenpressing” system given his electric pace and energy.
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