The story so far:
* April 10th: Liverpool scouts watched Markovic in Benfica's Europa League game with AZ Alkmaar.
* March: Liverpool's Chief Scout watched 20-year-old Markovic during Serbia's 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland.
March: The Mirror reported: "Liverpool are bidding to beat Chelsea in the £20million chase for Lazar Markovic. He has been on the Kop radar since he was a kid. Brendan Rodgers wants to land the Benfica wide man in a massive deal"
Well, it seems the Reds will indeed have to pay a 'massive' fee to land Markovic. According to reports this week:
* Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers 'has been quoted' £30million by Benfica for Markovic.
* Markovic is allegedly the manager's 'top target' this summer.
* LFC 'officials' have met with the player’s agents to talk about a deal.
Markovic is a massive Chelsea fan, and seemingly has his heart set on a move to Stamford Bridge, as he revealed recently:
"Chelsea [is] my dream. I had all the pictures on my wall at home back to when they had Gianfranco Zola. And any time they are on TV I try to watch them. Chelsea are the best".
The presence at Stamford Bridge of fellow Serb Nemanja Matic could be a deciding factor in any move to the Premier League, and the midfield is a big fan Markovic. In February, he told O Jogo:
“He [Markovic] will mature and then he'll be unstoppable. It was great to have played with this fantastic kid for six months.”
I just don't understand all the hype. How is Markovic worth £30m? What has he achieved in the game to warrant that inflated price-tag? Take this season, for example: 6 goals/0 assists in 35 appearances. Is that what £30m buys these days? Coutinho has 5 goals/7 assists this season, and he cost only £8m.
If Liverpool are going to spend that kind of money on an attacking player, he better offer a shedload of goals/assists, and that clearly is not the case with Markovic. Given the fact he's predominantly a winger, his lack of assists is especially concerning.
Massive fees should (IMO) be reserved for players who are the finished article, and will come into the team and make an immediate impact. There's absolutely no guarantee that Markovic will do that, and if he can't create a single goal in the Portuguese league, how is he going to fare in the (arguably) superior - and tougher - Premier League?
Author: Jaimie K