Dejan Lovren’s difficult first season at Anfield may actually be better than we actually thought, as he has been rated as the Premier League’s best defender…
The Croatian has struggled to find his feet at times since his summer move from Southampton, but the CIES Football Observatory has rated him the 12th best centre-back in Europe, the highest ranked player in England’s top flight.
And before you think that the results contain loads of anomalies that have also failed to shine, names like Gerard Pique and Mats Hummels sit inside the top ten of those that have played at least 60% of minutes this season.
Lovren may not be quite the player that we had hoped for yet since arriving from Southampton for £20m… He became a stalwart of the south-coast club’s side, and looked assured for his country in last year’s World Cup.
But the sizeable fee, as well as the step up to a bigger club appeared to overawe him early on. However, like Adam Lallana – who, along with Rickie Lambert, also made the move to Merseyside from St Mary’s – he has started to display some better performances as the campaign has gone on.
In recent weeks, he has looked much more confident, and put in a Man of the Match display in the goalless draw against West Brom last month.
Hopefully, next season we will be seeing a player that truly justifies being considered one of the best defenders in Europe.