We continue our look at potential Liverpool targets this summer. With Jamie Carragher retiring, Sebastian Coates hugely out of favour, and Martin Skrtel also a possible departure – Brendan Rodgers will be looking to sign at least two centre-backs this summer. Here’s one who could fit the bill…
Position: Centre Back
Dejan Lovren is a Croatian central defender who plays for Olympique Lyonnais in France’s Ligue 1. He’s been lazily linked to Liverpool in most transfer windows since his move to Lyon from Croatia three years ago.
He’s often tagged a ‘modern’ central defender due to his propensity to make surging runs forward like Lúcio or Agger. He certainly does have some flair, and he displays it relatively often with forward runs and long passes. His long passes can be brilliant but he’d have to cut down on the number here; Rodgers doesn’t favour long balls forward to the striker (not from the center halves, at least) and Lovren’s success rate isn’t all that impressive, from what I’ve seen.
Defensively, he’s okay. He’s not bad in the air, but he’s not excellent either. Personally, I think any partner that we buy for Agger should be strong in the air to make up for Agger’s relative weakness there. He’s 6’2″, but he doesn’t seem to have great positioning going into aerial situations and he doesn’t always jump with conviction. Again, he’s not easily found out in the air, but I don’t think he’s got the right amount of aerial prowess to complement our Dane.
Lovren is a pretty consistent centre back. He doesn’t often make mistakes, and he handled Zlatan so thoroughly in December that Ibra felt the need to stomp on his head. That being said, he doesn’t offer the vocal leadership that is clearly lacking in our back line, and I don’t see any world where even in his best form he is as good as Skrtel was for us last year.
Lovren cost Lyon £7m when they bought him from Dinamo Zagreb three years ago so they’d likely ask for something closer to £11m despite Transfermarkt quoting has value at just £7m. Personally, I think if we’re going to spend that much money on a central defender we should spring for Marquinhos instead since he’s five years younger (and thus has five more years of top play) and arguably already a better player).
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below….