Lazar Markovic set for Liverpool stay

Lazar Markovic is set to stay at Liverpool this summer, despite being linked a move back to Portugal earlier this week.

The midfielder was linked with a move back to Benfica, either by sale or loan, after a frustrating first season on Merseyside.

However, it is understood that manager Brendan Rodgers has no intention of selling the Serbian winger, who scored a wonderful goal for his national team against Azerbaijan last Sunday.

Frustrating first season

Markovic didn't feature often for the Reds last season, despite a large £20 million price-tag accompanying his transfer. Making 34 appearances, and only starting 11 of them, he scored three goals. Putting this into context, Liverpool played 57 competitive games last season.

Much of this can be attributed to Liverpool's inconsistency. The Reds were poor throughout, finishing 6th in the league, and changed formations constantly. There were few individuals who had excellent season, with Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Jordan Henderson the only players who impressed from start to finish.

Markovic played at full back, on both wings and in a central position, which could offer a reason as to why he failed to impress. He wasn't the only new signing who made little impact, with Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli all disappointing.

Future chances

The potential exit of Raheem Sterling could lead to Markovic getting more first team chances. Sterling occupy's the left wing position where the Serb could thrive, and has been the subject of a rejected bid from Manchester City in the last few days. Any departure for Sterling would almost secure Markovic's future on L4, with Jordon Ibe the only other winger in the squad.

Liverpool haven't sold any players yet this summer, but have released a few names. Steven Gerrard is leaving for Los Angeles Galaxy upon the expiry of his contract, whilst Glen Johnson is in talks with Besiktas. Jordan Lussey, Marc Pelosi and Brad Jones were also confirmed as having been released on Wednesday.