If Liverpool indeed end up signing young Serbian wonderkid Lazar Markovic—and all indications are that they will—it will be a move that could help the club immensely in the future.
The question is, how much will it help them right now?
With Luis Suarez all but gone—and Alexis Sanchez all but donning an Arsenal kit—Liverpool's attack is not only losing 31 league goals, but for the moment it is also losing the chance to replace 19 of them. For a team returning to the Champions League this season, that's a concern.
So while, yes, Markovic is a bright young talent, no, he isn't the answer to replace the goals in Liverpool's attack.
At least not yet.
Still, it appears the player is on the way, and his national team manager is pleased with the move. James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo has more:
Liverpool are close to wrapping up a £25million deal for Benfica winger Lazar Markovic. The young Serbian’s move to Anfield has been given the seal of approval by his national team boss Ljubinko Drulovic.
'It'll be good for him and Benfica,' Drulovic said.
'Going to a very strong league will help him even more to become a major player worldwide. He's 20 years old and has a long time to play. Markovic could prove to become a very important player in Europe.'
David Anderson of the Mirror has more on the near-imminent move:
So, who exactly is Liverpool getting?
Markovic made 49 total appearances for Benfica last year, scoring seven goals along the way. He appeared five times in the Champions League for the Portuguese giants, earning a 6.37 average match rating according to WhoScored.com, and appeared eight times in the Europa League, earning a 6.4 mark.
Benfica is no slouch of a club, so making 49 appearances for them as a 20-year-old is quite impressive. He'll certainly have the chance to make his impact with Liverpool right away, even if the level of competition is about to be raised for the youngster.
And if he can impress Brendan Rodgers on the training ground.
“What can I say about our Markovic? It was excellent playing with this fantastic 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!”
Kundert himself said of Markovic, "An exhilarating dribbler when in full flow, Markovic’s instinctive decision-making and gorgeous skills led to a number of memorable goals as Benfica marched to the domestic treble."
So there's no questioning how exciting this signing could be for the future. But it's fair to question how much he'll help Liverpool right away.
The rest of the league continues to improve. Manchester City have bolstered their lineup. Chelsea have added Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, making them a scary, scary collection of talent. Manchester United have a new manager and brought aboard Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera. Arsenal are bringing on Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, it appears.
Yes, Liverpool have added Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert. Yes, they added another exciting 20-year-old, midfielder Emre Can. And yes, with the money that will come back from the Suarez deal they'll have the cash to bring aboard a top player.
But if Markovic is their last big splash in the transfer market, well, this summer will have to be considered a failure for Liverpool. Maybe not a few years down the line, mind you, but for the time being, the exciting young prospect won't be enough to return the Reds to the Champions League as their competition continues to bring aboard top, proven talent.
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