With all transfer talk of a move to AC Milan having died down a little recently, Dejan Lovren will have been able to recalibrate his focus to what goes on at Melwood this summer.
Lovren turned 30 last Friday and is one of the most experienced players in Jurgen Klopp’s first-team squad. However, after missing the start of the 2018/19 campaign through injury, the Croatian has failed to retake his place in the Reds’ first XI.
Joe Gomez stepped in to form an excellent central-defensive partnership with Virgil van Dijk, conceding just four goals in the 12 Premier League fixtures he had started from Liverpool’s opening 15.
Gomez then suffered a leg fracture at Burnley in early December. Lovren filled the Gomez-shaped void with some impressive performances during December but Liverpool’s only league defeat of the season, at Manchester City in early January, saw Lovren given the run-around by Sergio Aguero and co.
He didn’t start another league game for Klopp until late April when Liverpool faced Huddersfield.
This summer, when rumours circulated (Express) that Lovren was attracting interest from Serie A’s AC Milan, not many Liverpool fans were surprised that our Croatian centre-half could be on his way out of the club.
The 2018 World Cup finalist may be about to surprise us all, however. Lovren’s first opportunity to show Klopp his Anfield days are not over is when Liverpool start face Tranmere this Thursday evening.
Lovren, if he shows the right attitude and a supreme level of fitness at such an early stage of preparations for next season, will not go unnoticed.
Jurgen Klopp’s team will have a hectic schedule in 2019/20 and Lovren can capitalise on that. Players will be injured, others will drop out of form.
Klopp has shown that he will select starters based on their commitment and performances in training at Melwood. This adds extra incentive for any player not currently part of the regular starting eleven.
Lovren, who is contracted to the club until June 2021, only started 11 Premier League games and two Champions League games last season. If he stays on at Anfield for another year, he could get more playing time than expected, especially given Liverpool’s limited transfer activity so far this summer.