5 Reasons Why Signing Dejan Lovren Would Be Good for Liverpool
With much made of Liverpool's defensive ailments in 2013-14, the news that the Reds are close to spending big money on an assured Premier League defender will have Liverpool fans worldwide breathing a sigh of relief.
The potential signing of Lovren not only represents Liverpool's intentions for the new season, but also a big milestone in the growth of the club under Brendan Rodgers.
Long gone are the days when Paul Konchesky would satisfy a Liverpool manager's defensive needs.
Here we look at five reasons why the signing of Lovren would mean good news for Liverpool.
Liverpool became the kings of scoring from set-pieces during 2013-14, scoring 36 of their 101 Premier League goals indirectly from free-kicks and corners.
But their strong point up front was their Achilles' heel at the back, none more so evident than during the 3-3 draw with Everton at Goodison Park in November, in which each side exchanged calamitous goals from set-pieces.
At 1.88 meters, Lovren would bring much welcome aerial strength and power to Liverpool's back line.
He is tall, strong and powerful, winning 60 percent of his aerial duels last season, according to Squawka. Whilst Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger's stats are comparable, Lovren could be the catalyst to fixing Liverpool's leaks.
Liverpool are a club littered with wonderful defensive partnerships in their history—from Alan Hansen and Phil Thompson to Sami Hyypia and Stephane Henchoz—and a stable back two could certainly go a long way to sealing Liverpool's defence once again.
Mamadou Sakho had a gentle first season adapting to English football and by the end looked worth every pound of the £18 million Liverpool paid Paris Saint-Germain for his services in 2013.
With Lovren close to coming in for a reported £20 million, as per ESPN, Liverpool would have £38 million worth of talent in the centre of defence. Rodgers will be hoping the Croatian international and Sakho can form a formidable partnership if the deal comes to fruition.
Premier League Experience
Despite potentially paying a premium to sign a player from a Premier League club, it may still class as a shrewd move for Liverpool.
Lovren has already completed his one-year initiation to English football at Southampton, which would make the transition from St Mary's to Anfield straightforward.
Since moving to the south coast in 2013, Lovren has proven himself worthy of Southampton's, and now Liverpool's, votes of confidence in him.
Competition for Places
If Lovren comes in to partner Sakho in central defence, Liverpool would suddenly have a very good pool of defensive talent to choose from.
Kolo Toure looks set to leave for Trabzonspor, as per Lig TV (h/t Turkish-Football.com), but if Agger and Skrtel remain at Liverpool this summer, the signing of Lovren would develop healthy competition for places in Liverpool's central defence.
Furthermore, with the increase in fixtures due to the Reds' participation in the Champions League, Rodgers may well find the range of strengths in his defenders a valuable asset.
Changing of the Tide
Inevitably, defensive eras at clubs come and go, and Lovren's arrival could signal the beginning of a shift in defensive personnel.
Rodgers will be wary of not changing too much too quickly. With Sakho coming in a year ahead of Lovren's expected arrival, the changes look to continue at their gradual pace.
Agger, Skrtel and Glen Johnson all turn 30 this year, and they are some of the higher earners at the club.
With Lovren and Sakho at 25 and 24 respectively, Rodgers would not only be basing his decisions on ability, but financial sensibility too.