The Reds tonight confirmed that Serbian youngster Markovic has joined the club from Benfica after a promising season in Portugal.
Markovic made 19 starts and 26 appearances in total for Benfica in the Primeira Liga last term in Portugal, scoring five goals as well as one goal in the Europa League. He has 12 caps for Serbia at senior level under his belt and a move to Anfield could be exactly what the youngster needs to improve under manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Liverpool coach has developed and nurtured England youngster Raheem Sterling from a raw and energetic teenager youngster into a top-level performer at club level and England’s shining light at the World Cup in Brazil, at the tender age of 19.
Sterling scored nine goals and made five assists under Rodgers last term across 33 appearances in the Premier League. He achieved an 81.7% pass completion rate, up to 88% for England at the World Cup across his three appearances. Markovic performed close to Sterling’s league level at Benfica last term with an 81.4% completion rate in the Europa League.
The Reds teenager also improved his goal tally from the previous season of two goals and he managed 48.89% of his shots on target last term compared to Markovic’s 50% in the Primeira Liga which would suggest the Serbian has the capacity to be as efficient or more in front of goal.
Like Sterling, Markovic combines exceptional pace and strong technique but his ability to score and create goals at the top level of competition remains to be seen. If he can emulate the success of Sterling, however, the manager will have an abundance of ammunition in attacking midfield and wide areas in the coming years.
Overall, the youngster coming in will still be something of an unknown quantity as Sterling was over the last three years. Markovic will need to adapt to the Premier League and work to prove his quality at the highest level in the same way Sterling has under Brendan Rodgers who is surely the best coach to be developing him at this stage in his career.