Why Liverpool are right to keep hold of Dejan Lovren amidst an injury crisis
Liverpool had shown the willingness to offload the Croatian World Cup finalist in the summer following his bit-part role in the playing XI last term, with Italian outfit Roma heavily linked with a move for the 30-year-old. (h/t Daily Star)
However, with the reigning European champions refusing to budge on their £20million valuation of the defender, Roma were clearly unwilling to part with that kind of cash for a player aged 30.
The 30-year-old was expected to have another quiet season at the club after starting only 11 games in the Premier League in the previous campaign.
The hugely experienced Croatian international had featured as a mainstay at the back for Liverpool following his 2014 move from Southampton but his fall in grace last season was quite drastic, with Klopp clearly reluctant to show a lot of trust in his abilities.
However, in a twist of fate this season, an injury to Matip coupled with the failure of Gomez to regain rediscover his old form following his return from injury, has opened the door for the Croatian to re-establish himself as a regular fixture at the heart of the backline.
The 30-year-old, who was instrumental in Croatia’s march to the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, has started each of Liverpool’s last three games in the Premier League against the likes of Aston Villa, Tottenham and Manchester City, with Klopp reinstating him in the playing XI ahead of Gomez.
To put things into perspective, Lovren’s sudden upturn in form couldn’t have come at a better time for the Reds, with Joel Matip currently serving a spell on the sidelines.
Whether or not the Croatian retains his role as a regular starter at the back when Matip returns to full fitness is something that remains to be seen, however, Dejan Lovren has certainly done his reputation no harm in recent weeks.
The 30-year-old has come back from the cold to put in some excellent shifts in central defence, including a solid display in the 3-1 victory over Man City at the weekend, with the former Lyon and Southampton man successfully resurrecting his career at Anfield.
A veteran of almost 400 career appearances at the club level, Lovren has reminded us in recent weeks that he could still be a useful asset to Liverpool at the back with his wealth of experience, irrespective of what kind of role he plays for the remainder of the campaign.
The Croatian stalwart has shown that he is more than capable of delivering the goods when called upon by the manager.
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Morgan Boyes, Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever are all exciting teenagers at the U-23 level but it is not difficult to see how and why Liverpool could possibly benefit from having Dejan Lovren in the ranks for another two or three seasons.
With that in mind, Liverpool are right to rule out a transfer for the Croatian international in January as it is pretty evident that he still has something to offer.