Scouting Rumoured Chelsea Transfer Target Dejan Lovren
Perhaps if Lyon were able to maintain their superb early season form, centre-back Dejan Lovren would not be thinking about an exit from the Ligue 1 outfit.
However, with the club fighting for Champions League qualification and struggling to regain their dominance in French football, it might be time for the Croatian international to depart.
The 23-year-old joined the club from Dinamo Zagreb in 2010 for around £7 million, and it seemed to be a solid step towards a growing career for the highly rated centre-back. After all, Lyon had dominated Ligue 1 in recent years, securing the title seven times consecutively between 2001 and 2008.
A player very much modeled around the modern-style of technically gifted defenders, Lovren was a key part of Lyon's early surge towards the Ligue 1 crown.
Standing at 6'2", his aerial ability is sufficient enough, although not outstanding, and it's fair to say a towering striker in the mold of Olivier Giroud would perhaps give him a few problems.
Nevertheless, there's a reason why Lovren was one of the more popular names on Don Balon's list of the 100 best young players in 2010.
Lovren's tendency to make surging runs into the midfield can at times leave him exposed, but his technical ability is sound, with his passing being one of the key highlights of his improving game.
According to statistics provided by WhoScored.com, Lovren has a pass success rate of 87.3 percent, showing his accuracy with passing and displaying his ability to complete passes without losing possession.
This, along with his superb timing of a tackle, means he could easily be deployed as a holding midfielder, highlighting his versatility. His flexibility to play anywhere could see his fee rise to around £13-15 million.
Of course, like every player, Lovren has his weaknesses. His discipline needs some improvement for sure, with his red card against Bastia one of three collected this season, along with three yellow cards.
Lovren has shown his capability as a consistent centre-back; rarely does he make any mistakes that cost his team a goal, and if he gives the ball away, his determination to get back is usually crucial in helping snuff out the attack.
Additionally, his excellent reading of the game is useful for a team that plays on the counter attack, with the Croat able to step in and cut out dangerous attacks, making him a potential long-term replacement for the ageing John Terry.
Lovren managed to do something that not many defenders can do: keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic under wraps.
Seemingly under instructions from Lyon coach Remi Garde to man-mark the talented Swede, he kept his composure despite receiving a stamp on the head from the Paris Saint-Germain striker. This showed that perhaps his temperament is improving.
After three years at Stade Gerland and with PSG set to dominate the domestic league for the upcoming seasons, it could be the right time for Lovren to leave Lyon with several admirers closely following his situation.
The former Inter Zapresic loanee starred in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham in the Europa League, and Chelsea would have been watching closely to see how he fared against Premier League opposition.
He has a contract until 2016, so it could take a bid of around £10-12 million to force Lyon's hand, although Chelsea's previous dealings with Lyon with Michael Essien and Florent Malouda could hand them the advantage if they decided to make a move.
According to The Express, the Blues would face competition from Roma, who may lose their young star Marquinhos this summer and would see Lovren as an ideal replacement to fill the void.
If Chelsea could secure his signature, Lovren would be undoubtedly suited to the physical style of the Premier League. With the progress of his career to present, a move to England could give him the opportunity to establish himself as one of the top defenders in Europe.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?