Dejan Lovren’s time in the international wilderness is likely to end in 2017, according to Croatia’s manager Ante Cacic.
The centre-back’s been left out of the squad for this international break and infamously was rejected for Euro 2016 as well, after the pair played out a nasty spat in public.
It began last season when Cacic accused Lovren of refusing to warm-up during a friendly, while the player angrily claimed he had finished his warm-up and was simply returning to the bench, as he always would previously.
Now though, it seems the duo have buried the hatchet, meaning another Liverpool starter will be absent during international breaks come the new year.
“I think we’ve said enough about that this year – for me, there is no case with Lovren,” Cacic told Sky Sports. “I know that when I feel he is needed for the team he will be called up and of course he will come to play for the national team.
“I was his first senior coach, all the way back in 2006 at Inter Zapresic, I know him very well. He was a young player then and he’s shown that he has the capacity to have a respectable career.
“We are all proud of him because he’s playing for a big club in England, one of the two best leagues in the world, along with Spain, which is a great satisfaction for everyone who’s worked with him and especially for him personally.
“To any national team, including Croatia, he’s a needed player, somebody that we don’t want to not use in the future.”
Lovren’s partnership with Joel Matip for Liverpool threatens to be a good one, but they’ve managed just one clean-sheet in the Premier League, with Lovren putting in an especially poor performance against Crystal Palace a few weeks back.
With Joe Gomez nearing fitness, and links emerging to potential January targets, it’ll be interesting to see if Lovren can convince Klopp long-term of his suitability.