LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 5, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s comments on Lovren show at least 1 summer recruit required

Jurgen Klopp reaffirmed that Dejan Lovren has a role to play for Liverpool despite being fourth-choice, but his comments also suggest summer action ahead.

The Croatian has been a much-discussed figure during his time at the club, with wild swings in form and fitness hampering his attempts to become an undisputed starter.

That hasn’t been anywhere near the case over the last two years, with Lovren firmly behind Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as Virgil van Dijk‘s primary partner in the back line.

Put to Klopp that recent reports suggested the defender would have an extra year added to his contract to preserve transfer value, the boss wouldn’t discuss the specifics of players’ deals, but highlighted the need for depth.

“Dejan played for us outstanding games and is a very important part of the squad,” Klopp told reporters ahead of the Arsenal game.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 4, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 234th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“[I have] nothing to say on the contract situation because there’s nothing to discuss in public. Dejan is a player of LFC and we need him.

“It’s always like this, we have four centre-halves and we play usually with two of them. But we needed all four always, so it’s a very important role.

“In this moment with Joel [Matip] injured we have only three, Dejan had a little issue last two weeks, so that’s what you need. You need the quality we have at centre-half to be successful.”

While that is unquestionably true, especially with Matip again sidelined, it still doesn’t answer the riddle of the coming transfer window.

GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren (L) and Virgil van Dijk during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lovren clearly wants more game time and his admiration for Klopp and happiness at being at Liverpool isn’t going to outweigh that desire to play this time around.

He stayed last year an extra season despite wanting to leave, but not even 1200 minutes on the pitch this year means he’ll surely be off if a buyer is found this summer.

And, as Klopp notes, Liverpool need four centre-backs—which means an incoming addition will be required to fill the void.