Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Serbian attacker Lazar Markovic from Benfica, with the Portuguese club confirming a price of €25 million (£20 million).
The 20-year-old forward becomes The Reds’ fourth confirmed signing of the summer after Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Emre Can.
Markovic, whose first name is pronounced “Lazza”, arrived on Merseyside over the weekend and underwent a medical at Melwood on Monday.
Markovic is a player known for his incredible pace and dribbling ability. He is used to working in an attacking front three at Benfica, who he joined from Partizan last summer.
#LFC are delighted to announce the signing of Benfica forward Lazar Markovic #LazarLFC pic.twitter.com/bP1assvE7k
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 15, 2014
Manager Brendan Rodgers told the official LFC website:
“This is an exciting signing for us and one that improves our squad, in terms of attacking options, for the coming season.
“Lazar is flexible to play a number of positions, but I like the way he attacks games and is always positive and looking to make something happen. He will fit in with the way we play at Liverpool.
“Getting him at such a young age is also very pleasing for us, because we will be able to work with him to develop his talent within our group and improve him even further.
“He is the sort of character who is hungry to get better and progress; this is what we look for in players.”
Guardian writer and football scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen writes on Markovic:
“I’ve followed his career since making Partizan debut, talent and potential obvious from the point of breaking into the first team.
“Top European sides were monitoring him back then, most of those impressed by his great ability though some concerns re “frail” physique.
“In terms of potential there’s no doubt in my mind that Markovic is among the top 3-5 greatest talents in European football.
“Main characteristics: great ability on the ball (close control, touch), explosive/very quick in one vs one situations, intelligent.
“Transfer fee may seem high but if player develops according to expectations/potential, he could (should) be worth x2 in 18-24 months.”
Welcome to Liverpool, Lazar.