Jurgen Klopp has lavished praise on Dejan Lovren and explained that the public perception of the Croat is quite simply false.
The 29-year-old has excelled at this summer’s World Cup, following a very impressive second half of the season with Liverpool, in which we qualified for a Champions League Final he performed phenomenally in.
Following Croatia’s England win, Lovren labelled himself one of the best defenders on the planet – and it seems Klopp agrees with him.
The manager has (somewhat kindly) suggested that Lovren’s made just ‘three or four’ errors since he took over in October 2015.
“People very often judge other people pretty early. I don’t know exactly what happened before I came in,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website. “Since I came in, maybe Dejan made three or four mistakes, two of them in the Tottenham game, maybe one in a Champions League game last year. But it’s for sure not 15 or 20.
“Ninety percent of the time he played outstanding, 95 percent absolutely OK, and five percent probably he was not at his best. But you will find these problems for pretty much all the players in the world.
“I’m completely happy. I’m happy that he used the little advice we gave him in the last few years in a very good way. He can still improve, 100 percent.
“But he is on a really good way. I didn’t see all of the World Cup games but a lot — he played a fantastic tournament so far. It’s well deserved, I’m really happy for him.”
While Klopp has underestimated the error-count, his point still stands.
Lovren has been underrated and labelled ‘rubbish’ by fans of Liverpool and our opponents without paying too much attention to what he’s doing on the pitch.
You don’t get to a Champions League and World Cup Final in the same year if you’re a bad player – it’s impossible.
This is the very pinnacle of the game, and Lovren is deservedly there.
We just hope he goes from strength to strength and delivers consistently for Liverpool.