Lazar Markovic went to Benfica in the end this summer and has had a fine summer.
"Serbian winger Markovic signed with Benfica for five seasons,"
Just hours after Chelsea were reported to have brought teenage Serbian sensation Lazar Markovic, and then loaned him out to Benfica, this news broke. No such deal had been reached; instead Markovic had signed a five-year deal at the Portuguese outfit - permanently.
"Benfica play very attacking football that fits nicely with my characteristics," said Markovic.
"I come from a winning team and this style of play, always looking for goals and victories, fits me."
"I know we will play in the Champions League so I am very motivated."
And as irritating as it is for Chelsea it appears he was right - he fits into Benfica like a hand in glove.
Yesterday Benfica took on Nice in a pre-season friendly and claimed a 2-1 victory. Markovic got the ball rolling in the fixture - racing clear of the defence and slotting the ball past the onrushing keeper.
Markovic has been in excellent form this pre-season.He highlighted his talents against FC Sion on the 16th July with a double that secured a 3-2 victory - and in general fans at Benfica are very excited to see what he can do, once the real business gets started.
For Chelsea it is once again another Benfica star whose success will be stinging. Nemanja ‘The Spider’ Matic has become one of Europe’s most sought after talents, thanks to his excellent performances for Benfica last term.
Himself a Serbian - he was involved as a makeweight in the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge.
Let go for nothing, he is now worth at least as much as the Brazilian.
It was not entirely known whether Markovic was actually going to be utilised as a first-teamer at the Stadium of Light, but it is fair to say, considering his recent pre-season form that Jorge Jesus is certainly thinking about it.
For Chelsea it will be a difficult time, to see a player they reportedly could have signed for €10 million this summer doing so well with his new club.
But then again, plenty slip through the net whilst others are caught, and it will soon be a long forgotten tale of ‘we almost signed him’ with a shrug of the shoulders attitude.
Here are his goals against FC Sion…
image: © Crystian Cruz