While he may have had some less than encouraging words for new striker Mario Balotelli, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers took a far softer line with the likes of Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana, telling the press that they need time to get used to their new surroundings.
The Serbian, who arrived from Benfica in a big money move over the summer, has looked out of sorts in the English game with the speed and physicality of the league a major factor. “With young Markovic it’s taking time with him,” said the Northern Irishman ahead of today’s meeting with West Bromwich Albion. “He’s in a new country and he’s getting used to a new way of life and he’s just getting accustomed to the physicality of this league having come from Portugal where it’s totally different.”
An injury in pre-season kept the 20-year old from getting fully integrated into the squad ahead of the new season and he’s been left to adapt as he goes — much like fellow new boy Adam Lallana. Although the 26-year old has experience in the Premier League having captained Southampton before moving to Anfiled, finding your feet in a new team is never easy. After returning from a knee injury, the 26-year old has been improving with every outing with last weekend’s Merseyside Derby, and his performance against FC Basel in the Champions League, earning him a measure of praise.
“If you look at Adam Lallana his performance in the derby showed that he is going to be a very good player, the supporters are going to love him,” enthused Rodgers when asked about his progress. “I’ve got confidence in them both. That’s why we brought them in. We’re certainly not disregarding any of the players we’ve brought in. These are players who we believe will be outstanding players here but sometimes you can hit the ground running and sometimes it takes a wee bit of time.”