26 Jul 2015

Legend blasts: 'Nervous' £20m Liverpool star 'always makes a mistake' and is 'error-prone'. Sell?

After a nightmare debut season, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is on borrowed time at Anfield, and he'll have to exponentially improve this year to avoid perennial bench duty. Unfortunately, Lovren hasn't looked convincing during pre-season, and Reds legend Mark Lawrenson has warned the the £20m signing that he needs improve ASAP.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this weekend, Lawro blasted Lovren looking 'nervous and error-prone', and argued that he 'doesn't seem to have improved much'. He explained:

"Worryingly, he [Lovren] always makes a mistake during the course of a match. The goal against the Malaysia XI was an example of this.

"Rather than attack the ball, he held off and waited to see what would happen, and the striker produced a fine finish. If you’re an opposition manager, you’d be telling your striker to be aware Lovren can blunder at any time".

For me, the most concerning thing about Lovren is that he's failing to convince against staggeringly inferior opposition.

If Lovren can't put in confident, commanding performances against a Malaysia XI, how is he going to fare against the top-teams in the league?

Well, after last season's evidence, the answer to that is already obvious, and with that in mind, it's no surprise that Liverpool seem to be in the market for another centre-back.

Lawro insists that he still thinks that Lovren will 'come good', and I felt the same at the end of last season, but after more shaky performances in pre-season, it's probably time to start accepting that the Croatian is not the long-term solution for Liverpool.

With very few exceptions Liverpool's most successful and enduring centre-halves (i.e. Yeats, Smith, Hughes, Hansen, Lawrenson, Thompson, Gillespie, Hyypia, Henchoz, Carra etc) have settled-into their roles quickly, and gone on to become defensive stalwarts for the club.

The likes of Wright, Skrtel and Agger took a little bit of time, but neither looked as error prone and defensively suspect as Lovren, who - right now - belongs in the same bracket as Kvarme, Ruddock (Lots of heart, and a bit of a cult hero, but not the greatest defender!) Dicks, and Babb.

Way back in October, Jamie Carragher claimed, that Lovren had made Liverpool 'look worse defensively', and soon after, John Aldridge urged Rodgers to consider the 'radical solution' of dumping the 'disappointing' centre-back in the January transfer window.

Has anything really changed since then?

With so many tough games in the first few months of the season, Liverpool can't afford to start slowly, and in my view, there's no way Lovren is ready to be trusted as part of the club's first-choice central defensive partnership.

Whether he'll ever be ready is debatable, but one thing is (arguably) clear: If Liverpool sell Lovren tomorrow, it won't make a blind bit of difference to the club's forward progress.

The fact that a £20m signing won't be missed is a staggering indictment of the club's transfer policy, but it is what it is, and perhaps now is the right time for the club to cut its losses?


Author: Jaimie K


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