Liverpool announced yesterday the signing of the Serbian international Lazar Markovic from the Portuguese historical team Benfica. The Reds have allegedly paid £10 million for Benfica’s 50% stake and they will still have to pay an additional £10 million to third-party owners in the near future to fully conclude the deal. Although the amount paid might seem somewhat exaggerated for a 20 year-old player one cannot forget the enormous potential Markovic has and his impressive room for development in the years to come.
Lazar Markovic has only arrived at Benfica last season after spending most of his youth career at Partizan Belgrade, who sold him to the Portuguese team for an undisclosed fee after it was suggested that he had signed for Chelsea first and that the London team would send him on loan for two years before giving him a chance in their first team.
After two quality campaigns with Partizan, Lazar Markovic managed to have a vital role at Benfica last season as he helped the Portuguese side to win the nation’s league title and the cup as well, by contributing with a total of seven goals in forty-nine appearances.
Markovic is an extremely versatile player, although his performances seem to be fairly more consistent when he plays as a right winger. Regardless of that fact, the Serbian international can also be used as a centre or inside forward, as a second striker or trequartista or even as right midfielder in a 4-4-2 classical formation. Markovic has amazing acceleration skills that, when combined with his impressive technique, turn him into an almost lethal footballer on one-on-one situations. The Cacak born player considerably developed his teamwork skills during his passage through Benfica, as he focused more in helping the team than on individual and sometimes even selfish and pointless efforts. Lazar Markovic is definitely not a typical goal scorer, thus Liverpool supporters should not expect an outrageous goal tab from him at the end of the season; nevertheless, his unique skills will certainly offer The Reds some extra quality that one does not often find on a player of his age.
Lazar Markovic will be the second Serbian footballer ever to have played at the Merseyside team, after Milan Jovanovic’s stint at the club back in 2010. Although Jovanovic was and still is a quality player, his experience at Anfield Road was far from impressive, something that Liverpool fans certainly don’t want to see happen with Markovic.
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