Liverpool legend John Aldridge believes Lazar Markovic is starting to show signs of becoming a ‘top player’ for the Reds.
The 20-year-old was the match winner at Sunderland on Saturday, and Aldridge believes he is starting to show wy Liverpool paid Benfica £20million for his services in the summer.
Writing in his collumn for the Liverpool Echo, Aldridge said:
“I was particularly pleased to see Lazar Markovic come through as our matchwinner. The locals in Portugal, as well as the ex-pats, always talk to me about him. They’ve seen him at Benfica, and they are convinced he’s got what it takes to be a top player. Now, Liverpool fans are starting to see it too.
“I remember writing earlier in the season that he needed to be taken out of the firing line for a bit. He looked like a rabbit in the headlights in those first few games, and I don’t think the exposure was doing him any favours. Brendan Rodgers obviously agreed, because he took him out of the team, used him sparingly, and a few months later, when he has had time to get his message across, he’s come back a different player.
“He was outstanding on Saturday, particularly in the first half. He got a goal, should have had a penalty and nearly cracked in a goal of the season contender!
“This lad is 20 years of age, moving for a big price to a big club. Liverpool’s transfer committee gets a lot of stick – some of it deserved, by the way – but they bought Markovic for the long-term. If he hit the ground running, then it was a bonus, but it wasn’t to be expected.
“New signings need time, whether we like it or not.
“Now, we’re seeing the reasons why Markovic was signed, and the same could be applied to Emre Can as well. I thought the German was another star performer at the weekend, despite being forced to play in a couple of different positions out of necessity.
“The potential of these two – and throw Alberto Moreno in there as well – is huge, and should not be ignored.”