Updates from Friday, Aug. 22
The Liverpool Echo's Phil Kirkbride tweeted:
Rodgers on City: "We will go there with no fear." Rodgers confirms that Markovic comes into the squad for Monday— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) August 22, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20
Lazar Markovic is ready to make his Liverpool debut when the Reds travel to face Manchester City.
Markovic had been suffering from a hamstring problem, but the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce reports:
The 20-year-old winger, who was snapped up from Benfica when the Reds triggered his release clause, is hoping to make his debut against Manchester City on Monday after recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered during the pre-season tour of America.
Updates from Friday, Aug. 15
Lazar Markovic has lost his race to be fit for Liverpool's season opener against Southampton.
Brendan Rodgers confirmed, via Liverpool Echo's James Pearce:
Flanagan, Lallana, Markovic, Agger missing for LFC this weekend.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) August 15, 2014
Lazar Markovic could appear during Liverpool's opening Premier League game of the season against Southampton, according to Brendan Rodgers.
The Northern Irish boss confirmed his new signing will definitely be available for the Reds' next match against Manchester City on Aug. 25 if he misses the Saints game, as reported by Charlie Scott of the Daily Mail:
He'll hopefully be around then (against Southampton), but if not then he certainly will for the next game. He had a slight problem with his tendon, but he's up to speed. He's working with our sports science team, he's looking very strong and if he just misses out, he certainly should be available for the next game.
Will Lazar Markovic make over 25 Premier League starts for Liverpool this season?
Markovic played just 45 minutes against Olympiacos during Liverpool's pre-season tour of America. The 20-year-old is expected to help plug the gap left by Luis Suarez this year, but he may see his immediate chances of making the starting line-up limited if injury persists. Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho look set to continue dominating from the off after they both posted impressive displays during the summer.
Liverpool fans can look forward to watching Markovic's development under Rodgers. He is versatile, lightning quick and clever on the ball, three ingredients this Liverpool side love to take advantage of. The starlet also possesses decent experience in the Champions League, having represented both Benfica and Partizan Belgrade in the competition across the last two years.
Rodgers has worked hard to cram his squad with developing players who can fulfill multiple roles. Markovic is likely to be deployed on both flanks and perhaps behind Daniel Sturridge during his first season at the club, much like Sterling was last year. Not only does this broaden the player, it keeps opponents guessing.
Steven Gerrard believes anyone brought in by Rodgers can be honed into match-winning talents, despite never seeing Markovic play before he headed to Anfield: "Lazar, I've obviously seen clips on YouTube like every other Liverpool fan," said Gerrard, as reported by Colin Harvey of the Daily Star. "He looks quick, pacy and he'll get the fans on the edge of their seat. We'll see with time."
It's bright news for Liverpool fans that Markovic should be available from the off. The youngster will want to establish himself quickly with a handful of impressive appearances, especially as the Reds face a difficult start to the season.
Southampton have a point to prove after selling Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren to Liverpool, while an away trip to Manchester City is one of the campaign's toughest tests. Should Markovic positively influence either match, he'll be deemed a fan favourite from the off.