What does £25m target Lazar Markovic offer Liverpool?


Liverpool appear to be closing in on the signing of Benfica forward Lazar Markovic, but what does he offer the Reds?

The Serbian international, 20, has been regularly linked with a move to England ever since his days with Partizan Belgrade, but with Liverpool set to sell star striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona, they have set their sights on Markovic. A £25m fee has been speculated in the British press, and with a deal seemingly moving ever closer, here's the lowdown on what Markovic can offer Brendan Rodgers' side.

Pace and Dribbling ability

Markovic's main ability lies in his blistering speed and his ability to run at full pace without really losing control of the ball. He has the ability - and the confidence - to pick up the ball and drive right at the heart of defences, and the first thought in his mind appears to be to take players on at speed. This clip below demonstrates what Markovic is able to do, and on a number of occasions he has the Brazil defence at sixes and sevens as they struggle to cope with his speed and direct running.


Still only 20, Markovic does of course have some developing to do when it comes to decision making and awareness, but he's shown flashes of being a creative player during his time with Benfica. Liverpool will certainly need that after the departure of Suarez, and this particular assist against Porto is a great example of what Markovic could do on a regular basis with some development. With another of his trademark runs straight at the defence, he manages to play a perfect through ball to Rodrigo without even breaking stride, giving Benfica the lead.


Much like his creativity, his ability in front of goal is still very much a work in progress. Markovic was fairly prolific in Serbia with Partizan Belgrade, but scored just five goals last season with Benfica. Still, this goal against Vitoria Guimaraes gives a taste of what he could do in years to come. Collecting the ball one on one with the goalkeeper, Markovic has the presence of mind to lob the ball over him before tapping into the empty net. That kind of magic in front of goal is something that Liverpool will hope Markovic can provide in place of Suarez, but it just needs to be more consistent.

Expert opinion

Uros Popovic, Serbian football expert

"Markovic's biggest strength is, in my opinion, his speed. I don't think he's great dribbler, but thanks to his speed and very good technique he's capable of losing a man when receiving the ball. In that sense, I think he would fit in the Premier League well. Probably in Liverpool too, even though I see him more as a player for a team that favors a little more counter-attacking football."

"However, there are some things I'm skeptical about. First of all, he is a little injury prone. Almost every season he spent as a pro, he had some sort of injury that took him away from the pitch for a month or so. Nothing career threatening so far, I think, but still."

"When it comes to his game, I think even though he improved a little in Benfica, his finishing is still his biggest issue. He often finds himself in goalscoring opportunities, but misses a large number of them. I think he has a good chance to succeed at big level, but I think he's not ready yet."

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