Liverpool’s Joe Allen has only trained with new £20 million signing Lazar Markovic on a handful of occasions but the midfielder is already excited about the prospect of lining up alongside the Serbian this season.
As Liverpool look to bolster their squad following the £75 million departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, Markovic became the club’s fourth summer signing last week, following the arrivals of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can, their recent spending now at just under £60 million.
With the entire first-team squad continuing their pre-season preparations in the USA, Allen picked out the 20-year-old winger for particular praise, but is also extremely encouraged by the other additions being made for the upcoming campaign.
‘Obviously he has only done a couple of sessions,’ he told Liverpoolfc.com. ‘But straight away, you can see the quality that he brings.
‘I'm really excited to get the chance to play with him and train alongside him as well.
‘It has certainly added to the competition for places in the team. We're delighted to welcome them [the new signings] in,’ he added. ‘They have settled straight in and I think they're looking forward to the matches on this tour.’
Having begun his career at Partizan, Markovic joined Benfica last summer, where he was a core member of the side which won the Primeira Liga title, his obvious potential seeing the 12-times capped international earn a move to Anfield.
With Queens Park Rangers’ Loic Remy also reportedly set to arrive for £8.5 million, Brendan Rodgers is looking to complete further deals for Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren, Atletico Madrid full-back Javi Manquillo and Lille striker Divock Origi, as the club prepare to challenge on all fronts in 2014-15.
Having narrowly missed out on the title to Manchester City last season, it remains to be seen whether the summer additions will prove enough to replace Suarez’s influence, after his 31-goal campaign, but Rodgers appears be going to great lengths to ensure that the squad is improved in all areas.