Markovic has been rapidly improving in recent weeks, and scored a crucial goal today…
Lazar Markovic scored his first league goal for Liverpool, striking in the ninth minute in the Reds’ 1-0 away win over Sunderland – which has reinvigorated Brendan Rodgers’ side’s top four hopes.
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After a difficult start to the season, compounded by a costly red card against Basel in the Champions League, Markovic has made a rapid improvement in recent weeks, and is now set to play a crucial role in the second-half of the season.
The 20-year-old was the stand-out player in his side’s success at the Stadium of Light, not only scoring the goal, but coming close to adding a second in style, when his mid-air volley crashed onto the crossbar.
His vast potential emphasises precisely why a number of Liverpool’s summer signings have been judged too soon. Markovic came with a huge billing when he arrived at Anfield, and the faith shown by Rodgers is already earning its reward.
The Serbian’s former coach, Benfica’s Jorge Jesus, said of Markovic: “He is a football rebel and people have to show patience with players like him,” while Avram Grant added: “apart from Ronaldo and Messi, Markovic is one of the best talents I’ve ever seen at 19 years of age”.
A player does not earn that sort of reputation without reason. Markovic has proved versatile, able to play anywhere down the left flank, and in a more central role, and having only recently left his teenage years, he has a decade of potential success ahead of him.
Today, on a ground where Jordan Henderson’s performances once convinced Liverpool to pay a large sum of money that took several months, even years to pay off, Markovic became the latest in a long line of young Reds players to prove he is capable of making the grade.
Alberto Moreno, Emre Can and Adam Lallana have also improved since last summer, and their success proves how harsh it was to expect such players to bed in so quickly, especially with so many new faces at Anfield this season.
Despite still being of such a young age, Markovic is accustomed to success, having won the treble with Benfica, as well as three league titles with Partizan Belgrade, and it’s a trait he’ll be determined to continue at Liverpool.
If given time and faith by his teammates, coaches and supporters, today’s performance proves that he has the ability to develop into one of the best players at the club. With Daniel Sturridge still struggling with injury, there is no reason why Markovic can’t help fill the void during the second-half of the season.
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