Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic has decided to return to pre-season training days before his teammates, in a bid to impress his new boss Jurgen Klopp.
Players are not scheduled to return to the Reds' Melwood training ground until Saturday, but The Express confirmed that Markovic has already arrived days before everyone else.
Since joining Liverpool from Benfica in 2014, the £20 million Serbian has struggled to break into the starting 11. Under Brendan Rodgers, he was regularly played out of position and often used as a wing-back. He was never handed a significant run in the team and has scored just two goals in 19 appearances for Liverpool to date.
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He was loaned out to Fenerbahce before the 2015/16 season and didn't fare too well there either. He made just 14 appearances and failed to find the back of the net in Turkey.
However, the 22-year-old is keen to prove his worth to the Reds' manager Klopp. The Serbian international is a very versatile player, as proven by Rodgers and his high work-rate should go down favourably with the German boss.
Another of Liverpool's loanees, Mario Balotelli, is due to return to training on Saturday with the rest of the squad. Almost a forgotten man at Anfield, the Italian spent last season playing for AC Milan in his home country.
With Liverpool acquiring a number of attacking stars already this summer, it's likely Balotelli is not a big part of Klopp's plans. However, with the club still waiting on firm offers for the striker, the striker has been told he is expected to be present on Saturday.
The return to pre-season marks a start to next year's campaign, as Premier League sides begin to prepare for the challenges ahead, with many jetting off on pre-season tours later this summer.