There were various delays over the weekend and it was perceived to be a deal with too many tangles for a deal to be completed but Liverpool have added the talented Lazar Marković to what has been a productive summer transfer window to date. Marković joins Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, and Emre Can as the club adds depth and quality to his squad ahead of a return to the Champions League for the first time in five years. Benfica confirmed that the total fee is €25 million (£19.78 million), of which they received €12.5 million for their half of Marković's economic rights.
Interestingly, Lazar Marković is the first signing after the departure of Luis Suárez to Barcelona. While he is not a direct replacement for the controversial and mercurial Uruguayan, Marković could very well be a future Liverpool superstar. It is believed that this transfer was arranged to add to the talents of Liverpool's former number seven so further attacking reinforcements can be expected. He is the second Serbian after Milan Jovanović to sign for Liverpool and he will hope to fare far better than his compatriot in what is undoubtedly a big move for the young player.
The 20-year-old forward can play in a variety of attacking positions in the attacking band behind the striker and is most likely to feature on the left (something that Marković confirmed himself) where he can cut inside onto his stronger right foot. The Serbian international is swift, skilful, and sedulous. Marković has been recognised as one of Europe's brightest young prospects at Partizan and Benfica where his performances led many to wonder only when a move to one of Europe's biggest clubs would take place.
"I am very happy that I have joined such a great club. I hope that I will fulfil the expectations of the supporters, coaches, players and all connected to the club," Marković said in his first interview as a Liverpool player after presumably engaging in carefully guided leaning action. "I went to Partizan and won the title. I went to Benfica and won the title. Now I have joined Liverpool and want to win the title, 100 per cent."
"This is an exciting signing for us and one that improves our squad, in terms of attacking options, for the coming season," Brendan Rodgers enthused. "He was hugely impressive for Benfica last season and has proved he has the ability to produce the goods in European competition as well, which will be important for us. 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."
Liverpool are engaged in a negotiations for a number of players, some known knowns and other known unknowns. There is still much work for Liverpool to do in the transfer window but this is a vital step forward in the evolution of the first-team squad. The future plans of Bayern Munich and Chelsea have become Liverpool's formula for a competitive present with a view to a rosier future. The development and performances of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, and Daniel Sturridge last season suggests that Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers could be onto something.