Liverpool

Liverpool Transfer News: Dejan Lovren Signing Vital to Reds' Success Next Season

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  James McCarthy of Everton and Dejan Lovren of Southampton battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Everton at St Mary's Stadium on April 26, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been very active in the transfer window so far this summer, but he has yet to make his most crucial purchase.

Despite signing Rickie Lambert, Emre Can and Adam Lallana, it is another Southampton player who is most needed at Anfield: centre-back Dejan Lovren.

While Liverpool look set to sign the Croatian international, talks are currently stalling over the transfer fee, though the player himself is eager to push through a move away from Saints, per James Dickenson of the Express:

Liverpool sent the offer and the club haven't informed me. Not even about the subsequent Liverpool bids. 

Liverpool sent a £20m offer and Southampton paid nine million for me, so they would've earned twice the amount. 

They are now looking for £25m, but I don't think they'll get it. At this point, I don't know what I'll do and I don't like it. 

It was unbelievable that a few days ago I had an offer of £20m. It was in the morning and by the afternoon the club had said I was not for sale. 

Frankly, my head is already at Liverpool.

The Anfield outfit must look to snap up the 25-year-old, as he could become the core of a defensive rebuild so desperately needed at Liverpool after last season's performances, per Opta:

While Rodgers continues to bring in new attacking players who will add to an already strong unit in that department, it will all be for nothing if the back line is not improved.

Weakness at the back cost Liverpool the Premier League last season, pushing them to second, which will continue unless Rodgers bolsters his defence.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Furthermore, Liverpool will be found out in the Champions League and crash out early without strength in depth at the back.

Lovren would be a fine addition to the Liverpool side, as he was one of the star defenders in the English top flight last season, per tactics expert Michael Cox:

He played at the heart of a Southampton back four that conceded four fewer goals than Liverpool while finishing an impressive eighth in the table.

It was away from home that Liverpool really suffered, conceding 32 goals in 19 games, while Lovren's Saints let in just 23 on the road, the fourth-best travelling defence in the league, per ESPN FC

At 25, he is still a young player, but he has top-level experience from having appeared at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil this summer.

His physical presence would be an advantage to Liverpool, as he is a strong ball-winner and could fill the gaps that were often so obvious last season.

Additionally, his comfort on the ball and ability to play a pass would fit well into Rodgers' counter-attacking style.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 27: Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea and Martin Skrtel of Liverpool compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on April 27, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Br
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Lovren would arguably be an upgrade on current Reds centre-backs Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Mamadou Sakho, per Squawka, while he would certainly add much-needed depth with European football in prospect.  

No matter the attacking talent in any side, a strong defence is a must, especially in Europe. Lovren would go a long way to repairing the Reds' leaky back four and put them in the frame for success on all fronts in 2014-15.

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