Fresh off a £20 million transfer from Southampton to Liverpool, Dejan Lovren should make an immediate impact on defense for a Reds’ side that struggled mightily last year in terms of surrendering goals.
Lovren, the 25-year-old Croatian defender, was a major target of manager Brendan Rodgers during this offseason and he is the third Southampton player to join Liverpool during this transfer window; Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert were the other two.
Last season, Liverpool allowed 50 goals which is a surprising number when you consider that they finished second in the Barclays Premier League. League-winner Manchester City only allowed 37 goals in comparison which is slightly under one goal per contest.
A major part of the struggles for Liverpool on defense last season was a bit of an inconsistent unit and injuries. Daniel Agger, who may have been the club’s best center back, battled injuries and poor form at times. Martin Skrtel had a very good year last season, but may not be in Rodgers’ plans going forward. Mamadou Sakho was signed last season for a significant amount, but he was extremely inconsistent. He was also prone to very bad giveaways that resulted in opponents scoring goals. Sakho has the most potential in the group, but he may not be ready for the job full-time.
Lovren should figure to start immediately as Rodgers’ first-choice center back and picking someone to pair along with him will not be an easy task and it may take a few weeks before the right candidate proves they’re up for the job.
If anything, the addition of Lovren should bolster the Liverpool defense enough to slightly offset the loss of Luis Suarez. While the Reds’ attack will obviously be weakened, Rodgers recognized that shoring up the team’s weak spot should provide more balance to his club. Lovren is a quality talent and should be a big part of any success Liverpool attains this season and in the near future.