Sky Sports in Italy claim that AC Milan have recognised Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren as a top target this summer and could soon move ahead with the deal. The same source also claim, however, that a formal approach still hasn’t been made and no offer is currently tabled for the coveted Croatian defender.
But Lovren, for all his faults and inconsistencies, still has an important role to play for Liverpool. Here are two key reasons why Jurgen Klopp and the Reds should keep the centre-back at Anfield.
Lovren is a really experienced player. He’s been through thick and thin with Liverpool, sure, but we shouldn’t forget that he was one of the key pieces that led Croatia to their runner-up finish in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He has tasted the biggest stage of them all and naturally has that winner’s mentality – even dubbing himself last summer as one of the best defenders in the world. He’s always ready to compete and he wants to be the very best. After lifting the Champions League, that mentality will be crucial to stopping complacency creeping in at Anfield and ensuring Klopp’s side challenge effectively for the domestic crown next season.
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Lovren is a really interesting persona, on and off the pitch. At times he shows his quality, and when he does, he can truly shine. But there’s also that other side of the coin that gives more than just a glimpse at his inconsistent nature. It often seems that what worked for him one day wont the other, and vice versa.
But he’s a rugged defender and Liverpool are pretty packed with superstars, so having someone in reserve who’s willing to do the dirty work and add to the squad depth is essential to sustained success.
In his 14 Premier League appearances last season, the 6 foot 2 centre-back managed to score once while averaging 1.2 tackles per game, 4.1 aerial duels and 3.9 clearances, showing that he does what he’s tasked to do once he’s been selected.
All of this should suggest to Klopp that Lovren can be a good relief to the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip if and when the need arises. Joe Gomez is an option too but some occasions will call for Lovren’s physicality and experience, rather than the youngster’s fleet of foot and enthusiasm.