Southampton have faced criticism for some terrible transfer decisions in recent seasons, with the likes of Jordy Clasie, Guido Carrillo and Wesley Hoedt memorable disasters, but there is no doubt that the club’s deal for Dejan Lovren eight years ago was a good one.
The Croatian international was hugely impressive in his only year with the Saints, making 31 appearances in the Premier League, contributing two goals and one assist, which helped him average a superb 7.32 WhoScored average rating.
As a result of his excellent performances, Liverpool shelled out £20m to sign him the following season, meaning Southampton were able to make a very quick £11m profit on the former Dinamo Zagreb man.
During his time with the Reds, the centre-back would go on to make 185 appearances and won both the Champions League and the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp, yet was regularly criticised by Premier League supporters and Liverpool fans alike for his error-prone nature.
Lovren was seen as a liability for much of his time on Merseyside and, despite playing a part in their title triumph last season, the 31-year-old was allowed to join Zenit St Petersburg in the summer, something the Reds may have lived to regret due to the long-term injuries to both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez this season.
Fortunately for Southampton, they saw the best of Lovren during his time on the south coast, and his signing was a rare transfer success when you consider some of their recent dealings.
If Lovren had stayed with the Saints rather than joining Liverpool, then perhaps they wouldn’t have signed Virgil van Dijk from Celtic in 2015, a deal which proved to be an incredible bargain for the south coast club.
Therefore, there is no doubt that Lovren’s signing in 2013 was a huge success for Southampton for a number of reasons, but it is something they have arguably been unable to replicate in recent years.