After almost six years of being under contract at Liverpool, Dejan Lovren has become one of the current Liverpool longest servants in the club. It may come as a surprise to many that he is one of the few players from the Brendan Rodgers era that is still in the Jurgen Klopp team. Wether some may love him, and other may hate him it is undeniable the fact that Lovren wore proudly the Red shirt. Currently being linked with Italian sides, the Croatian could be on his way out this summer, and LFC Transfer Room writer Drew Ntsanwisi (@WordsIDrew) takes a look at his high and low moments in a Red shirt.
In the summer of 2014, Liverpool spent a then club record transfer fee for a centre-back in order to sort out the defensive woes that had contributed to the title capitulation of the 2013/14 season. For a figure of around £20m, Dejan Lovren arrived from Southampton after an impressive season for The Saints with the aim of reaching the heights of former red greats such as Sami Hyppia, Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger. The Lovren story has not been as sweet.
The Croatian centre-back fast became a scapegoat for a Liverpool side that continued its defensive frailties before the arrival of Virgil van Dijk. Performances such as the Wembly disasterclass in 2017 against Tottenham which had Lovren substituted within the first 32 minutes of a 4-1 defeat and the concession of a late penalty in the Merseyside derby a few weeks later to cause a 1-1 draw epitomised the flaws in Lovren’s game. Regardless of the inconsistencies of Dejan Lovren’s performances, his reliance in the face of adversity is much to be admired. The Liverpool number 6 has been subject to social media abuse and ridicule from fans as well as constant criticism from pundits for years. Plenty of words can be used to describe the centre-back but apathetic is certainly not one of them and maybe there lies his importance to the Liverpool setup.
Dejan Lovren has never been completely out of the picture of the centre-back pairings at Liverpool ever since his move to Anfield. He looked certain to depart before the start of the season but Jurgen Klopp decided to keep him because he still brings quite a bit to the table. Though many may choose to remember him for his errors on the pitch, Lovren has also had some stellar nights in a Liverpool shirt. The stoppage time winner in the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund will live long in the memory of Reds across the globe; his partnership with Virgil van Dijk in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League knockout phase was a major contributor to helping the team reach the final.
The 2019/20 season looks increasingly likely to be Lovren’s last in a Liverpool shirt but with the first league title in 30 years seemingly just a matter of games away (upon resumption of the league), Dejan Lovren will be able to depart with another huge reward for his hardships. After winning the UEFA Champions League in the 2018/19 season; the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup at the start of the 2018/19 season, the Premier League medal will be the perfect parting gift for a player that has always picked himself up regardless of how heavy his fall.
Every player at a major European club stays under the microscope. At Liverpool, the attacking trio is expected to demolish defences in every match; Virgil van Dijk is expected to have a flawless performance against every opponent; and Dejan Lovren is often expected to let his team down even. The Croatian centre-back has proven on many occasions that he can rise above those expectations and prove his doubters wrong. If there is any way to remember Dejan Lovren at Liverpool, it should certainly be for always wearing his heart on his sleeve and giving his all for the club like all the other great centre backs that came before.
The last time Liverpool faced Newcastle, Lovren did this 🚀pic.twitter.com/YNAKrnl2Ue— Goal (@goal) May 3, 2019