28 Sept 2015

Nightmare Player? Legend insists £20m Liverpool star is 'absolutely awful' and will never 'turn the corner'.

On Friday, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Dejan Lovren will be out injured for at least 'a few weeks', and after his shaky performances in recent weeks, I doubt many fans will be too upset about the Croatian's absence. That includes Anfield legend Mark Lawrenson, who insists that Lovren's injury is a 'blessing in disguise' for LFC.

In his Saturday column for the Liverpool Echo, Lawro admitted that he'd lost patience with Lovren, and slammed the defender's recent performances. He scathed:

"I always, always thought Dejan Lovren would turn the corner. Wrong. His decision-making is absolutely awful. Awful. What on earth was he thinking for the [Carlisle] goal? It's like he'd never defended before in his life".

This new injury could be the beginning of the end for Lovren's Anfield career, but there's one reason why he'll get another chance at some point in the future: Sakho, and Toure are not consistently reliable enough to make the the position their own.

Everyone seems to be raving about Sakho, but against Villa on Saturday, he repeatedly lost aerial duels in the 18-yard box, and this led directly to Villa's second goal.

Sakho had all the time in the world to see cross into the box, but his feeble attempt to jump for the ball allowed Gestede to get in front of him and power home the goal.

Statistically, Lovren is outperforming Sakho this season:

Minutes Played

* DL: 450 | MSA: 180

Passing Accuracy

* DL: 85 | MSA: 91%

Duels Won

* DL: 60% | MSA: 56%

Aerial Duels Won

* DL: 70% | MSA: 46%


* DL: 1 every 6.6 mins | MSA: 1 every 6.6 mins

Tackles Won

* DL: 100% | MSA: 80%

Stats: OPTA

As you can see, overall, Lovren is more effective than Sakho this season, but his glaring mistake against West Ham seemingly makes it difficult for some to appreciate his improved defensive solidity.

Sakho's failure to properly mark Gestede is also a defensive error that led directly to a goal, but it's not as 'flashy' as Lovren's mistake, so it's been brushed under the carpet.

At some point, Joe Gomez will get a chance at centre-back, and perhaps he'll turn out to be the long-term answer. The question is, who will partner him in defence?

Author: Jaimie K


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