Although there isn’t yet an official confirmation from Liverpool, the English media are reporting that Southampton’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren will join Brendan Rodgers’ team over the next days. The Reds will allegedly pay £20 million to the Saints and it is expected that Lovren will undergo medical tests during the weekend. If this is to be true, Lovren will be the fifth signing of Liverpool this Summer, after they have already brought in Ricky Lambert, Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, and Emre Can.
The Croatian defender had been on Liverpool’s plans for quite some time now, but Southampton were reluctant to allow another important player to leave the club after the “exodus” that swept Saint Mary’s Stadium this Summer. After the Saints’ last match against Bournemouth last Friday, the team’s new boss Ronald Koeman confirmed the Croatian defender’s departure, claiming that the club is working hard to find someone with similar skills: “Because Lovren is a key player in Southampton we are working hard to bring someone in and are close to doing that.”
As for Liverpool, the arrival of a talented footballer such as Dejan Lovren will certainly be a breath of fresh air to the team’s defense line, which came across as fairly sloppy on several occasions last season. At the age of 25, Lovren is, beyond any doubt, one of the best centre backs of the Old Continent and his recent performances, both at Southampton last season and recently at the Brazilian World Cup, are living proof of that. The Zenica-born defender has excellent marking and positioning skills and he is also very competent on the heading department. Lovren is a “product” of the prolific academy of Dinamo Zagreb and he is one of the most important players’ of the Croatian National Team, collecting almost thirty caps over the recent years.
Lovren was a vital element at Mauricio Pochettino’s Southampton last season and the player will certainly be a key element on Liverpool’s defence line this term as well, where he will probably pair with Sahko or Skrtel, or even with both of them, if Brendan Rodgers decides to play with three centre backs as he has done in the past.
Lovren only joined Southampton last Summer from Lyon and the Saints paid £8.5 million to the former French champions for him. If his move to Anfield Road goes through, Lovren will be the third Southampton player to sign for Liverpool season, filling the Saints’ safe with almost £50 million.