Southampton supporters have been pretty upbeat in recent times after seeing their team book their place in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup earlier this week.
Mark Hughes’ men went into their trip to fellow Premier League side Everton off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Wolves in the league, a result which saw them slip to 15th place in the division. Yet the Saints got back to winning ways in midweek courtesy of a penalty shoot-out success at Goodison Park having drawn 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Danny Ings’ opener cancelled out by Theo Walcott late on for the hosts, although it didn’t deter Hughes’ side as they then won the resulting shoot-out.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Saints fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom will be hoping for greater improvement from their side as the season wears on given the signings they made during the summer.
Yet the story of Southampton’s recent years has been about failing to keep hold of their most prized assets, and that was certainly what happened back in 2014 when they sanctioned Dejan Lovren’s departure to Liverpool for £22.77 million (as per Transfermarkt).
And while the defender had proven his worth to the Saints in his one and only season at St Mary’s, to make a £13.77 million profit on the centre back, having signed him for just £9 million (as per Transfermarkt) the previous summer, represented an outstanding piece of business from the club’s hierarchy.
Ultimately, 29-year-old Lovren made the move to the South Coast in the summer of 2013 having impressed at French side Lyon in the years previous, and he set about translating that form into the Premier League by excelling in the heart of the Southampton backline.
The Croatia international, who helped his country reach the World Cup final during the summer, scored twice and laid on one assist in 31 Premier League appearances for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, but it was his efforts defensively in helping the Saints concede just 46 goals which earned many rave reviews.
And it prompted Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool to splash out £22.77 million on the defender in the summer window of 2014, which alongside losing the likes of Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana that summer as well, really didn’t please several Southampton fans.
However, to make a £13.77 million profit on just 12 months of service from Lovren simply cannot be scoffed at, and it’s arguable that the Saints haven’t fared too badly without him given they had Toby Alderweireld to replace him in the 2014/15 season, and then Virgil van Dijk arrived from Celtic the following summer.
In fact, other than producing the goods for Liverpool last term, Lovren hasn’t really lived up to expectations at Anfield during his four-year stint at the club, with it needing the arrival of van Dijk back in January of this year to finally banish any doubts about the Reds’ backline.
Thus, there is little doubting that Southampton did remarkably well out of the deal that took Lovren to Liverpool, making a £13.77 million profit on 12 months of service, and indeed ultimately not missing the 29-year-old in the heart of their defence.
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