Dejan Lovren‘s focus remains on Liverpool and the club’s bid for greatness, but he has conceded anything “can happen in the summer.”
Liverpool’s No. 6 has found himself moved back to fourth choice centre-back after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained at Salzburg in December.
The hamstring strain kept Lovren sidelined for the Reds’ busiest period of the year, missing 11 matches, where Joe Gomez acquired a firm grip on the role next to Virgil van Dijk.
Lovren often polarises the fanbase and with his contract expiring in 2021 discussions continue to surround his future at the club beyond the summer, with Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip above him in the pecking order and with the emerging youth in Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg waiting in the wings.
But the 30-year-old is still firmly of the view that he has “another good five years” in his tank at the highest level and is eager to continue serving the club on the pursuit for continued success.
“I’m patient. I’m working behind closed doors a lot and sometimes it is frustrating when you don’t play,” he told Sky Sports.
“You are fighting with yourself in your mind, asking ‘Why not?’. But you are accepting it, you are moving on and from my personal point of view, I want to be better every day in the training sessions.
“The day will come when I will get again the chance so I am happy that I am not injured – which is the most important thing – and I’m also happy that we are all together and we have a full squad at the moment.
“Of course I want to be in the team that wins many trophies. I think, and I feel, that I have quite a lot of years to give especially in professional football. I’m 30, so another good five years.
“I don’t think I’m just a throwaway. If the club needs me I am here, I am happy. But you never know what can happen in the summer. At the moment I am just focused on the point where I can say I made it [as part of a great team].”
With just 13 appearances in all competitions this season, Lovren has spent the majority of 2019/20 watching on from the substitutes’ bench or from the stands.
But with 45 players being used across the campaign to date, an opportunity to have an influence, such as his decisive goal at home to Napoli in the Champions League, is never far away.
And being a part of Liverpool’s current set up remains a “privilege” for Lovren as the “special” nature which leaves the Reds constantly wanting more is consistently on show.
“It’s not a lie. It’s a privilege to be in the dressing-room and to see smiley faces, but it’s not just about smiley faces – it’s about how we are still reacting on the training ground,” he continued.
“We are still hungry, still greedy and this is what makes us special, to be honest.
“I think many other teams would go easy now with a 22-point lead but we don’t look at these 22 points. We are just focused game-by-game and this I think is the simplest way to be the best.
“It is a good experience also for the younger ones, to understand that even if you are on top you still need to work as hard as if you were in the middle of the table or in last position.”
But the rise to the heights the club are currently experiencing has not been instantaneous, and Lovren has been there for every step of the journey having joined in the aftermath of the title bid in 2013/14.
But after taking “two or three years to build everything up” under Jurgen Klopp, the Reds are firing on all cylinders and Lovren is eager for the club to build a dynasty.
He added: “Let’s say, we clicked this year – maybe even last year – but we missed out by one point.
“Now we understand each other, what we need, what we want. And I especially want, that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [something like] 20 trophies.
“Why should we not do that? I think we can do it and I want that we are remembered as one of the best teams that have played – not only for this year but for many, many years.”