Ex-Chelsea boss compares £25m Liverpool target Markovic to Messi and Ronaldo

Avram Grant

Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant says that only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were as good as Liverpool target Lazar Markovic at 19.

Having been so close to winning the Premier League title last season, Brendan Rodgers has embarked on a summer of spending, bringing him Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can, as well as Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana.

Now though, with the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona in a blockbuster deal all but confirmed, Rodgers will have even more money at his disposal. Lille striker Divock Origi is a top target for around £10m, whilst Swansea City's Wilfried Bony is another player Liverpool are looking to bring in in order to replace the goal threat of Suarez.

Their big spending may resemble what Tottenham did a year ago after they sold Gareth Bale to Real Madrid - which ended disastrously - but Rodgers is making calculated moves, and one of those looks to be on the verge of completion as Benfica winger Markovic gets ready to seal a £25m switch to Anfield.

The Serbian is one of the hottest young players in Europe right now after an impressive debut season with Benfica, where he showcased his devastating speed and dribbling ability. Now expected to play a key role in replacing Suarez, Liverpool have high hopes for Markovic - and former Chelsea manager Grant says that Markovic is one of the best young players he's ever seen, only eclipsed by two of the world's biggest stars.

"I can say that apart from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Markovic is one of the best talents I’ve ever seen at 19 years of age," said Grant.

Expectations must be tempered upon his arrival in England, as many players take some time to adjust to life in the Premier League, but if he can even get close to where Ronaldo and Messi are at in their careers, then Liverpool will forget about the anticipated loss of Suarez - given time, of course.

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