Dejan Lovren was a surprise feature in Liverpool’s starting lineup against Watford. It was surely his final chance to be a fixture at the club.
Liverpool left out Joe Gomez as a precaution on Saturday. The Englishman has been a key part of Liverpool’s team over the last couple of months, ever since taking over from Lovren.
But many would have expected Joel Matip’s return to the starting XI, once Gomez was out. Instead, it was Lovren.
Now, Lovren’s record this season is not good. The Croatian started 13 games before Watford, in which Liverpool kept a clean-sheet in three.
Tellingly, Lovren went off injured in two of those (Bournemouth away and RB Salzburg at home) and the other was against MK Dons in the League Cup.
And Liverpool most certainly did not keep a clean sheet against Watford. Far, far from it.
An Ismaila Sarr had Watford 2-0 up in an hour, in fact. And you can pretty much point the finger squarely at Lovren for both.
The first saw Lovren get so tight to Troy Deeney in the box that the ball bounced over both of them. It completely took Lovren out of the game and one pass later, Sarr scores.
The second goal was a pass in behind. Sarr positioned himself behind Virgil van Dijk and in front of Lovren. One pass in behind undid them both as Lovren failed to cover at all.
And these are just the mistakes on goals. Lovren didn’t look in control over any of the 90 minutes, regularly giving away freekicks and struggling with every Watford forward.
At 30-years-old, there is little to no reason to persist with Lovren. The Reds’ form has been very poor with him in the side – certainly defensively – and they have a much better option in Gomez. They have a much better option in Matip, in fact.
This should be his final chance because if Liverpool want to stay at their consistent best, they can’t have Lovren as a regular.