Lazar Markovic is set to finalise his move to Liverpool with a medical this week, confirming Brendan Rodgers' fourth signing of the summer as the seemingly post-Luis Suarez era gathers pace at Anfield.
Mike Whalley of ESPN FC wrote that the 20-year-old forward is "due on Merseyside to put the finishing touches to the transfer," claiming the deal will be completed in the "next few days." The Serbian is set to ink a four-year deal, according to David Anderson of the Mirror, suggesting Reds fans can begin to think about what Markovic can bring to the club.
Marcus Christenson of the Guardian also provided details that nod toward an incoming deal:
Blessed with great pace and an ambitious-yet-effective dribbling nature, Markovic will slot in across either wing or through the centre for Rodgers' team.
He would represent one quarter of the four signings made so far—the others being Rickie Lambert, Emre Can and Adam Lallana—who will need to produce their best form if Suarez is going to be quickly forgotten once he seals a move to Barcelona, per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.
Markovic is certainly an unfinished product and someone who needs to work harder when tracking back or offering his team effective defensive cover.
With five goals in 26 Liga Sagres games last season, per WhoScored.com, Markovic will also hope to begin finding the net with greater consistency. He is an individual who takes up smart positions around the box and can make a greater impact when moving in on goal. At such a young age, these kinks can easily be ironed out, especially under the brilliant man-management skills of Rodgers.
Nemanja Matic, Markovic's international teammate and former colleague at Benfica, indicated the developing talent is something of a rough diamond. The Chelsea destroyer believes a change in attitude off the pitch could see Markovic become one of the world's best, reported by the Daily Mirror and via Andy Hodgson of the London Evening Standard:
What can I say about Markovic? It was excellent playing with this kid for six months. He has such massive potential that if he changed his attitude in training, he could be one of Europe’s best players in his position. But he’s young, he'll mature, and then nobody will be able to stop him!
Rodgers is the right manager to continue improving Markovic's game. The meticulous boss rewards hard-working players with responsibility and has moulded Liverpool into playing expansive football, the type of which allows many to express themselves. Markovic falls into this category and has the natural attributes to be a globally recognised star.
Life without Suarez is likely to be a difficult—albeit less stressful—experience. Rodgers is smart to not target a similar striker, as Liverpool won't be able to find someone of a similar style who can be compared to Suarez's output. Instead, it's the likes of Markovic and his new teammates who have the pedigree to advance Liverpool's style and push for a first ever Premier League title.