Lazar Markovic Adds to Liverpool's Dynamic Attack for Premier League Title Push

Max MuntonLiverpool CorrespondentJuly 7, 2014

In this picture taken Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 Benfica's Lazar Markovic, from Serbia, seen in action against Vitoria Guimaraes in a Portuguese League soccer match at D. Afonso Henrique stadium in Guimaraes, Portugal. Benfica won 1-0.(AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

The likely imminent arrival of Benfica forward Lazar Markovic to Liverpool, as per Ben Smith of BBC Sport, will give an added spark to Brendan Rodgers’ already flourishing attack at Anfield.

Looking set to lose Luis Suarez this summer, as per Mike Whalley of ESPN, Rodgers must go about rebuilding and reshaping Liverpool’s offensive weapons this summer, whilst building on the success of last season.

Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho flourished in Liverpool’s relentless attacking game plans, and England internationals Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana have already been added to that arsenal.

Markovic looks set to be the next addition.

 

Benfica

Highly rated and with much potential, the 20-year-old Markovic will make his second transfer in a year when his move to Liverpool is completed, switching from Partizan Belgrade to Benfica last summer.

A dramatic 92nd-minute goal on his debut for the Portuguese outfit against Gil Vicente saw Benfica snatch a last-gasp victory in Primeira Liga.

However, his scoring record after that may not impress the traditionally high expectations of Liverpool fans. Markovic scored just four more goals in 25 league appearances following his headline-making debut.

Furthermore, he was suspended for a touchline altercation with Juventus’ Marko Vucinic in the Europa League semi-final second leg, causing him to miss Benfica’s final defeat to Sevilla

Nevertheless, there is much promise from Markovic, and Liverpool are certainly prepared to put their faith in him with the transfer fee reported to be around £25 million, as per The Guardian

 

Fitting In

LISBON, PORTUGAL - AUGUST 03:  Lazar Markovic of SL Benfica claims for a fault during the Eusebio Cup match between SL Benfica and Sao Paulo FC at Estadio Da Luz on August 3, 2013 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

His versatility may well be his most attractive quality to Rodgers’ system, which interchanges central No. 10s and wide attackers frequently. 

Markovic has great acceleration and pace to endure Premier League defenders through tireless back-pedaling, and his dribbling ability is a key feature of his game. 

Whilst Suarez may well be on his way out of Anfield, Markovic has the hunger, desire and determination to fill the rampant, ball-winning role that Suarez operated in the final third of the pitch.

A two-pronged wide attack from Markovic and Sterling will frighten any Premier League defence, with Coutinho or Lallana supporting the more forward Sturridge or Lambert. 

Markovic is likely to drift into a more central role on varying phases of play, allowing Sterling to do the same on the alternate phase.

Rodgers may well have led Liverpool to their closest shot at a Premier League title yet, but to challenge again, and surmount a credible Champions League run, he needs the personnel to do so. 

Markovic will step into a growing squad of world-class players with an attack-minded setup to continue the excellent foundations laid in 2013-14.