Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren has not travelled with Jurgen Klopp’s squad for tonight’s UEFA Super Cup meeting against Chelsea in Istanbul.
According to BBC, Klopp said that the 30-year-old Croatia defender was not among the travelling party for the game in Turkey and added that he had “no idea” if Lovren would still be at the club in a few weeks’ time.
Yesterday, the Evening Standard reported that the Liverpool centre-back was in talks with Roma over a possible £15m move to the Serie A side, having fallen down the pecking order at Anfield.
Lovren has not played in either of Liverpool’s two competitive games so far this season, having been an unused substitute in the Community Shield against Manchester City and left out of the matchday squad for the 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich.
Last season he made only 11 league starts for the Reds and two substitute appearances. Having started the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in January, he had to wait nearly four months for his next Premier League start against Huddersfield towards the end of the campaign.
He started in only two games of Liverpool’s triumphant Champions League campaign, the 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the group stage and the quarter-final first-leg win over Porto.
Joe Gomez was out for four months with a fractured leg yet still made 25 appearances and played 1,583 minutes. Joel Matip played in 31 games for a total of 2,342 minutes while Virgil van Dijk made 50 appearances and featured for 4,465 minutes.
Prior to last season, Lovren made at least 22 Premier League starts in every campaign at Liverpool, peaking with 29 starting appearances in the 2016/17 campaign.
Of the Reds’ four senior centre-backs in 2018/19, he recorded the lowest passing success rate (86.6%; Van Dijk was highest with 89.7%) and the fewest interceptions per game (0.8, just over half of Matip’s 1.5 average). [via WhoScored.com]
Lovren’s tackling and aerial ability could still be an asset to Liverpool’s defence, which looked wide open at times on Friday as Norwich managed to rattle off 12 shots at Anfield.
However, after struggling for game-time last season and with Gomez back from injury, he could find his minutes very limited at Liverpool again in 2019/20 if he stays, and tonight’s game could have been a good opportunity for him to prove a point to Klopp if he had been available.
If the Reds’ defence is as miserly as last season (only 22 Premier League goals conceded), though, Lovren will likely find it extremely difficult to be a regular part of the starting line-up again this term – if he stays at Anfield.
Liverpool fans, are you disappointed that Lovren won’t feature tonight and would you miss him if he left Anfield this season? Give us your thoughts by commenting below!
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