Mario Balotelli’s £16 million move to Liverpool is expected to be completed in the next couple of days, but the Reds have another player oozing in self-confidence.
Lazar Markovic, Liverpool’s £20 million summer signing from Benfica has had an extraordinary last 12 months, making two big money moves in quick succession.
Just 20-years-old, Liverpool will be the third club of Markovic’s career — and he certainly thinks highly of himself as he embarks on the Premier League for the first time.
“I was voted one of the best players in Serbia and Portugal and I hope I will be recognised as one of the best in the Premier League,” he says in The Sunday Telegraph and on the club’s official website. “I believe I will.”
Markovic’s high standards could well have solid foundations. One of the stars of Partizan Belgrade and then Benfica, he helped both teams to league titles — the former on three occasions.
“I believe in myself and in the luck that’s following me,” he had said in the Liverpool Echo earlier last week. “I believe in the people in charge of my career. That is why I go with my dreams.”
Markovic was on the verge of joining Chelsea a year ago before Benfica snapped him up on a five-year contract. He enjoyed a successful season in Portugal, with five goals in 26 Primeira Liga appearances.
Describing how Markovic plays and how he will fit into the system at Liverpool, This Is Anfield’s Ben Twelves recently wrote:
Markovic is labelled as being a ‘winger’, although he is perhaps better described as a ‘wide forward’. He operates comfortably from either flank but predominantly plays on the right for the Portuguese champions, where he frequently drifts inside to join in more central areas to dictate play.
He likes to drift into central positions from out wide, where he can receive the ball in pockets of space and is able to turn and run at the opposing defence using his electric pace and close ball control which makes him so hard to defend against in 1v1 situations.
Markovic was ruled out of action for much of Liverpool’s pre-season campaign, and the opening game of the season against Southampton at Anfield last Sunday.
Back in full training with the squad this week though, Markovic could make his first appearance for the Reds with a baptism of fire on Monday night as Brendan Rodgers takes his side to Manchester City in the Premier League.
— Mizuno Football (@MizunoFootball) July 16, 2014
But opposition doesn’t phase Markovic, who is confident Liverpool can march to title glory this season.
He added, “Liverpool are one of the best clubs in the world and I felt last season they were the strongest team in the Premier League. It was bad luck that they didn’t win it.
“I watched Liverpool all the time last season. They were very good and luck played its part as to why they didn’t win the league. They should have been champions.”
He also had a charming comment for Kopites ahead of his first competitive game for the club, “The way the Liverpool fans are appealed to me. I have been lucky enough to have been at Partizan and Benfica, two clubs with passionate supporters.”