Lisbon - English Premier League giants Liverpool have signed Serbia winger
Lazar Markovic from Portuguese side Benfica, the club announced on
The undisclosed fee was reported by British media to be £20 million for a "long-term deal"
20-year-old is the fourth new arrival at Anfield this pre-season
following Southampton and England duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana,
as well as Emre Can, while controversial striker Luis Suarez has left to
join Barcelona in a £75m move.
Markovic made his name at Partizan
Belgrade and won successive Serbian titles with them before leaving last
year to join Benfica, where he helped the Lisbon side complete a
Portuguese treble during the 2013/14 season and reach the Europa League
final, where they lost to Spain's Sevilla.
"I am very happy that I
have joined such a great club," Markovic told Liverpool's website. "I
hope that I will fulfil the expectations of the supporters, coaches,
players and all connected to the club."
Liverpool will be looking
to go one better than last season after finishing runners-up in the
Premier League to champions Manchester City, and Markovic is confident
of adding England to the list of countries where he has won silverware.
"The Premier League is the strongest league in the world, and so I am very happy to be here," he said.
I have already played in the Champions League with Benfica. It is
superb that Liverpool are in it and I hope we will go far next season.
"I watched every game (of Liverpool's last season, from Portugal) and they played absolutely superb.
"It is a shame they did not win the (Premier League) title -- but I hope we will win it this season.
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
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers added: "This is an
exciting signing for us and one that improves our squad, in terms of
attacking options, for the coming season.
"He (Markovic) 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.
"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."