Liverpool are ruthless when it comes to the transfer window; if they want a player, they get a player—no matter the cost.
The Reds have an unwanted reputation of paying over the price tag to lure stars to Anfield, though, and the summer of 2014 has been no different on that front.
Adam Lallana’s £25 million switch from Southampton has come under the spotlight most of all, and fellow new boy Lazar Markovic has also been labelled “overpriced” by those with their cynical caps on.
The 20-year-old arrived at Anfield for £20 million from Benfica in July, and it’s safe to say that the forward has a lot to live up to.
However, Markovic himself has insisted that his hefty price tag doesn’t mean anything to him, as with the ball at his feet is where he’ll prove his true worth, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:
I’ve never thought about anything in relation to money. I’ve never cared about or done anything for money in my personal or my professional life. What does it even mean to be more expensive than others? It absolutely doesn’t matter. The pitch, not the money, is the measure of everyone’s worth in football.
Proving himself on the pitch is how the Serbian has made a name for himself on the world stage in such a short space of time, but there’s still plenty of room for progression.
With pace, power and a touch that occasionally defies belief, Markovic has the full package in terms of a forward. European football expert Andy Brassell thinks he’ll start paying back his transfer fee very quickly, as David Triggs of the Liverpool Echo revealed.
Brassell told Triggs: “If he has a good season, it will seem pretty cheap pretty quickly. He’s one of the very best young players in Europe, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. He’s got an uncommon gift.”
Markovic will be looking to use his “uncommon gift” to fire Liverpool to success in 2014/15, but he told Pearce that it’s those around him who will bring out the best that he has to offer, particularly manager Brendan Rodgers and skipper Steven Gerrard:
I believe that Mr Rodgers will help me to become even better, just like he did with other young players. We’ll see where the coach will put me because I can play many positions and for every one of them there is great competition. I will give it my all.
When we say Liverpool most of us think of Steven Gerrard, and that’s not only the case with us who were born in the Nineties. He is a legend, an icon, the king of the club.
The Serbia international missed out on the Reds’ Premier League opening victory against Southampton on Saturday with a hamstring injury but will return to face Manchester City on Monday night, according to Rodgers (via PhysioRoom.com News):
Rodgers confirms "Markovic [is] now available, which is great and Adam Lallana won't be too far away in the next few weeks" #LFC— PhysioRoom.com News (@physioroom) August 18, 2014
The evidence of whether or not Liverpool have what it takes to dethrone last season’s champions at the end of the campaign will be crystal clear at the Etihad, and Markovic’s involvement could well prove crucial.
In a front three with the “new SAS”—Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling—Markovic showed just how big a threat he could be on the Reds’ pre-season tour of America, as he put together some dynamic performances.
While the “SMS” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, you can guarantee that the trio will be tormenting defences throughout the campaign, making £20 million appear junk change.