With Mamadou Sakho out for up to eight weeks, £20m Croatian Dejan Lovren seriously needs to step up to the plate.
Jurgen Klopp had made Sakho and Martin Skrtel his first choice centre-back partnership upon arrival, but with the Frenchman suffering an injury versus Crystal Palace last time out, the former Southampton man has yet another chance to prove he wasn’t an enormous waste of money.
And the 26-year-old is backing himself to do just that because he finally feels settled on Merseyside, reports the Echo.
“Mama had a really good couple of games and a good start to the season. We played in Rubin Kazan together and were feeling really good,” Lovren began.
“But you never know in football – injuries can happen today or tomorrow. So you need to be prepared. I was working hard all the time so I’m ready and looking forward to playing.
“Last year I had a tough year. I didn’t do pre-season with the team and everything was such a rush.
“Everyone, all together, has started better than last year. It was important for me that I had a good pre-season with the team and I’m feeling more comfortable now.”
It really is a case of now or never for Lovren. With Joe Gomez out for the season and Kolo Toure not really a viable option anymore, Lovren has a free run up until the new year where he can resurrect his Liverpool career.
Too often Lovren’s blighted his reputation with horrendous mistakes which have cost us points and him his place in the side. Martin Skrtel alongside him hasn’t helped, but it’s now up to the pair of them to finally form the kind of defensive partnership worthy of Liverpool.