Pitchside

What the brilliant Lazar Markovic will bring to Liverpool

Pitchside

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Squawka attempt to answer the question of how Liverpool will use new signing Lazar Markovic - and how he will improve the team.

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After completing his move to Liverpool on Tuesday afternoon, the debate has begun over just how Brendan Rodgers will use Lazar Markovic.

The Serbia international is a superb attacking midfielder and will play in a range of positions for Liverpool. One of the criteria the Reds look for in their signings is versatility, especially in attack.

The attackers at the club - Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Ibe, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana et al - can all play in a range of positions and do different jobs, sometimes changing a couple of times during matches.

Even their new midfielder, Emre Can, can play in central midfield and at left-back, which is most unusual considering he's right-footed.

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Liverpool played a 4-4-2 diamond against Man City last season

Markovic should fit in nicely into Liverpool's attack as Brendan Rodgers is open to constantly changing style, tactics and formation.

Liverpool went through several systems last season: playing 4-4-2 in a diamond, 3-5-2, 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1.

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Liverpool played a 4-3-2-1 formation against Norwich

In a fluid, counter attacking system, Markovic will likely play in a number 10 role or out on the wing.

He said in his first official Liverpool interview that he prefers playing on the left-hand side of the attack but would play anywhere the manager picks him. He will surely be played in his most natural role in the first few weeks of the season as Rodgers beds him into the new league and team.

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Lazar Markovic on-ball events against Spurs in the Europa League

Markovic will then be handed more starts - if he impresses - and will start to be moved around. The diamond 4-4-2 was used perfectly by Liverpool in the second half of last season as they went on a fantastic 11-match winning run. Rodgers may well try to use that formation in the opening games of the season as the Reds have a tough start. That could see Markovic used sparingly as there may not be a vacancy on the left-hand side of the attack in a diamond.

However, it all really depends on which striker Rodgers brings in to take Luis Suarez's place in the side. If Rodgers decides to sign another back-up for Daniel Sturridge, rather than a starter, Liverpool will likely start with the three-pronged attack that will see Markovic handed a start on the left.

Rodgers fortunately a lot to choose from if he goes with three in attack, as Lallana, Markovic, Sterling, Ibe and Coutinho could all fill in the wider positions either side of Sturridge.

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How Liverpool could line up next season

Liverpool were fantastic on the counter-attack last season, showing blistering pace while transitioning from defence to attack. Markovic is incredibly fast and if he is on the opposite side of the attack to Sterling, with Sturridge through the middle, that would be an incredible attack. Even without Suarez, it would be absolutely frightening for defences. It is pure, raw pace and skill.

Markovic has been rated extremely highly for his performances in Portugal and looks set for a bright future. Given the work that Rodgers has done with other younger players at Liverpool, he could be a huge talent at Anfield.

His best position is most certainly on the left but he should be equally brilliant in all positions across the attack.

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