Lucas Leiva may no longer be a Red but he has certainly left a lasting impression at Liverpool and one Dejan Lovren is eager to replicate.
The central defender is prepared to play with the responsibility as one of Liverpool’s leaders as he aspires to have the kind of impact his former teammate did in his 10 years at the club.
“We have quite a few players who have leadership in them – I think I’m one of them,” Lovren told Liverpoolfc.com.
“The most important thing is the team. I will give everything for the team. Hopefully I can be like Lucas one day, so people can say I made a big impact.”
“Year by year I feel more experienced. I know what I can expect. I’m learning day by day with the manager and with the team.”
“I feel I’m getting more ready and more powerful. I want to be more powerful and to show to everyone that I’m one of the best defenders in the Premier League.”
“I know what I want to achieve with the club. Everyone has a main target. These seasons have gone quite quickly.”
Lovren will not only be hoping to mould into the kind of role model Lucas did at Liverpool but also match the Brazilian’s complicated but inspired rise.
The Croatian, much like Lucas, endured a difficult start to life at Anfield but has since progressively stepped up his contributions and is currently fighting hard to consolidate his place as a first choice starter.
Mere interest in Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk must become a blessing in disguise in terms of driving Lovren to continue striving to improve.
The defender isn’t alone at Liverpool in facing a big 2017/2018 season, with competition for places promising to be fierce and the club’s desire to be challenging at the top of the Premier League demanding high performance levels from every player.