If there is one Liverpool player who has become used to receiving next to no credit whatsoever for the team’s success, it is centre back Dejan Lovren.
Part of that is due to the 30-year-old flitting in and out of the starting line-up throughout his time on Merseyside, but he is now enjoying a run of games in the team, and he certainly hasn’t let anyone down.
Indeed, he has even caught the eye of former England international Paul Robinson. The Sky Sports pundit admitted on Sunday that the former Southampton man deserves praise for the way he has performed recently.
“Lovren, I’ve not been one of his biggest fans but you have to give credit when it’s due,” he told Football Insider. “He’s playing well this year and it helps to have someone like [Virgil] Van Dijk next to you, as he does lead.”
Robinson is absolutely bang on, there. Credit where credit is due, please. We cannot keep judging the Croatian on his past mistakes. He’s not Van Dijk, we know that, but he’s not the liability many fans make him out to be.
Indeed, the statistics actually show that he’s been pretty good since coming in for the injured Joel Matip. As per WhoScored.com, Lovren is averaging 1.2 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 4.4 clearances per game this term. That last tally, in particular, is very impressive.
Then there’s the crucial goal he netted against Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday, along with the 84.9% pass success rate he has mustered and the 2.5 longs ball punted forward per game.
He’s not one of the best centre halves in the world, far from it, but he is perfectly capable of forming an extremely solid centre back duo alongside someone as superlative as Van Dijk. For Liverpool, Robinson and Jurgen Klopp, that’s clearly good enough.